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Psychology A level > Attachment > Flashcards

Flashcards in Attachment Deck (136):

What is an attachment?

An enduring two-way emotional tie to a specific other person, normally a parent and child


How long do attachments normally take?

Attachments normally take a few months to develop


What features do those with an attachment normally display?

Separation distress
Secure base behaviour
(stranger anxiety)


What is proximity?

They try to stay physically close to one another


What is separation distress?

They are distressed when they leave one another


What is secure base behaviour?

Even when independent, they make regular contact, e.g. infants go off and play but return to the mother while playing


What is reciprocity?

Responding to the actions of another with an action
(turn taking)
Interaction flows back and forth between caregiver and infant


Why is reciprocity important?

It helps to reinforce attachment bond and is important for later development of communications skills


What are 'alert phases'?

Where babies are ready for interaction
More frequent after 3 months


Why are 'alert phases' important?

Mothers generally pick up on this and respond to it 2/3 of the time; the sensitivity level can predetermine how strong an attachment is formed


What is interactional synchrony?

When two people interact they tend to mirror what the other is doing - facial and body movements/expressions


How can interactional synchrony be defined?

'the temporal coordination of micro level social behaviour'


What was the procedure of Meltzoff and Moore's study into interactional synchrony (I.S.)?

Observed the beginnings of I.S. in infants as young as 2 weeks. Adult displayed 1 of 3 facial expressions or hand gestures.
Baby had in a dummy to stop immediate gesture response, it was then taken out and response was filmed


What did Melzoff and Moore's original study find?

An association between the adult's facial expression and the baby's response


What did Meltzoff and Moore's later study find?

The same synchrony was found in children only 3 days old, so is therefore thought to be innate rather than learnt


What did Isabella et al discover in relation to interactional synchrony?

That high synchrony was associated with better attachment quality


What did Condon and Sander do?

Analysed frame by frame video recordings of infants' movements, and found that infants coordinated their actions in sequence with adults' speech


What are the strengths of interactional synchrony?

controlled observations mean we see fine details
research support
real world application
behaviour is intentional and human specific


What are the weaknesses of interactional synchrony?

We don't know the purpose of it
Interactional synchrony is not universal


Why is having controlled observations a strength of interactional synchrony?

Observations are generally filmed from multiple angles, ensuring that fine details of behaviour are seen.
And because babies are unaware of being observes they act normally- increases validity


What is a limitation of some research into interactional synchrony?

Difficulties in testing babies' behaviours as their mouths are in fairly constant motion and the motions being tested occur frequently
-Difficult to identify what is a response to the experiment and what is normal behaviour


What is an example of real world application for interactional synchrony?

Research by Isabella et al showed that achieving interactional synchrony is important in developing attachment
Suggests mothers should not return to work too soon; has implications for childcare practices and maternity leave in the UK


How do we know that behaviour is intentional and human specific in interactional synchrony?

Abravenal and Deyong: observed infant behaviour to two objects: one simulated a tongue moving and the other a mouth opening and closing
5 and 12 week babies made little response to either
-infants do not just imitate everything, their responses are a specific social response to other humans


Why is the purpose of interactional synchrony a weakness?

The ideas of synchrony and reciprocity simply describe the behaviours seen in research, there is no knowledge of purpose.
There are suggestions that it helps develop attachments or relieve stress but simple observations do not show if this is the case.


Why is the universality of interactional synchrony a weakness?

Interactional synchrony is not found in all cultures
Le Vine: found Kenyan mothers have little physical contact or interactions with their infants but that they go on to form secure attachments
Suggests I.S. isn't necessary for attachments to form


Who researched the impact of bodily contact on attachment?

Klaus + Kennell: Compared mums who had extended physical contact with those who only had contact during feedings, 1 month later- greater physical contact found to be cuddling with babies more and more eye contact- still noticeable 1yr later


Evaluate bodily contact?

Practical application: hospitals started placing mothers and babies in the same room in the days following birth rather than rooming them apart


Who researched motherese/caregiverese?

Papousek et al: Rising voice to show an infant that it was their turn in the interaction found to be cross-cultural. (USA/Chinese/German mothers all showed this behaviour) Suggests it is an innate device to facilitate attachment formation


Evaluate motherese/caregiverese?

However... it is often used by adults to all infants, not just the ones they have attachments to- suggests it helps communication with infants but not specifically attachment


What was the aim of Schaffer + Emerson's research?

To identify and describe distinct stages of attachment
to assess if there was a pattern to attachment formation


What was the procedure of Schaffer + Emerson's research?

60 working class Glaswegian mothers + babies (31 m 29f) Did observation of pps each month for a yr and again at 18 months - focused on who infant smiled at, causes of distress, positive responses etc


How did Schaffer + Emerson measure attachment?

Separation protest (left alone in everyday situations) and stranger anxiety (approached by researcher at start of each visit)


What were Schaffer + Emerson's findings?

25-32 weeks- 50% showed separation anxiety to 1 adult, (called specific attachment- normally most interactive and sensitive to baby) 40 weeks- 80% had specific attachment, 30% multiple attachment
Mothers normally 1st attachment (65%) Fathers first joint attachment 27% of the time


What were Schaffer and Emerson's conclusions?

Pattern of attachment formation common to all infants
Multiple attachments are the norm and of similar quality


What are Schaffer + Emerson's first two stages of attachment?

1. Asocial stage- up to 2 months, similar behaviour to all objects, 2. Indiscriminate attachment- 2-7 months, prefer people to objects, prefer familiar adults, relatively easily comforted by any adult, no separation/stranger anxiety


What is Schaffer + Emerson's third stage of attachment?

3. Specific/ discriminate attachment: 7+ months, different protest when particular adult puts them down (separation anxiety)- primary attachment figure, start to show stranger anxiety


What is Schaffer and Emerson's fourth stage of attachment?

4. multiple attachments: shortly after formation of specific attachment, form secondary attachments, 29% formed 2nd attachment within a month of 1st attachment, 1/3 had 5 or more attachments by a year


What are the strengths of Schaffer and Emerson's study?

ecological validity, rough 50/50 m/f split- generalisability, studied mums + babies, no demand characteristics from babies, longitudinal design, large data amount per pp


What are the weaknesses of Schaffer and Emerson's study?

low temporal validity (done in 60s), can't generalise pps (Glaswegian/WC only), demand characteristics in mother interviews-social desirability bias, debate over whether babies can form multiple attachments from the start- e.g. collectivist cultures where multiple caregivers are common


What did Sagi et al study?

Studied the Israeli Kibbutzim- where infants raised by communal children's home- found children 2x as closely attached to primary attachment figure in individualist cultures, but Kibbutzim children more likely to form multiple attachments from the start


What is a limitation of how attachments are measured?

Separation/stranger anxiety have to be inferred because we don't know why baby is crying- measures may be too simplistic


How does behaviourism suggest attachments are formed?

Classical conditioning- association- (e.g. mother + food)
Operant conditioning- reinforcement + and - (e.g. give baby food = baby stop crying or crying = food)


How does SLT suggest attachments are formed?

Imitation- baby imitates behaviour of others
(imitate parent's affectionate behaviours, and parents reward appropriate behaviours/motivation (D+M))


What is the Tabula Rasa theory?

We are born a blank slate- we learn relationships rather than being born with them- "cupboard love" theory (we learn to love who feeds us)


What did Dollard and Miller study? (D+M)

Applied classical + operant conditioning to attachment formations. Emphasised importance of caregiver as provider of food


What is the classical conditioning example of attachment formation? (D+M)

food = happy baby, food + carer = happy baby, carer= happy baby


What is the operant conditioning example of attachment formation? (D+M)

+ reinforcement: baby cries= food
- reinforcement: food= baby stops crying


What else did Dollard and Miller suggest?

Attachment as secondary drive- hunger thought of as primary drive- innate biological motivator, attachment is a learned secondary drive as a result of association between caregiver and primary drive


What are the limitations of the learning theory of attachment?

counter evidence- Lorenz's geese/Harlow's monkeys, Schaffer + Emerson, oversimplified, learning theory based on animal studies (Skinner/Pavlov), reductionist


Why do we use animal studies?

When it would be unethical or impractical to carry out the same research on humans?


Why do we study animals?

They breed faster, so effects of something through the generations are easier to see than in humans


What was the procedure of Lorenz's experiment?

Randomly divided goose eggs into 2 groups, half hatched with mother, half hatched in incubator- first moving thing they saw was Lorenz
To see if imprinting had occurred, he marked 2 groups then put them together with both himself + mother present


What were the results of Lorenz's experiment?

Incubator goslings followed Lorenz everywhere/showed no recognition of mother, control group followed mother
Lorenz identified a critical period when imprinting takes place (a few hrs in some species)
If no imprinting occurs- chicks do not attach to anyone


What was the aim of Lorenz's research into sexual imprinting?

Noted initial imprinting long-lasting and irreversible, aimed to investigate relationship between imprinting and adult mate preferences


What was Lorenz's experiment on sexual imprinting?

Found baby birds that imprinted on human showed courtship to humans, found peacock raised in reptile home (imprinted on tortoise) directed courtship to giant tortoises- concluded imprinting causes animal to choose mate which is the same as the one they imprinted on


What did Guitton et al find?

that chickens would imprint on yellow washing up gloves- shows baby animals will imprint on any moving object present during critical window
Chickens tried to mate with yellow washing gloves as adults- backs link between imprinting and reproductive behaviour


What is the however of Guitton's research?

That over time chickens learnt to prefer other chickens, suggests imprinting influence on mating is not permanent as Lorenz suggested but more 'flexible' and reversible


What is a strength of Lorenz's research?

Guitton evidence


What is a weakness of Lorenz's research?

Non-human subjects- not generalizable to humans


What was the procedure of Harlow's research?

Reared 16 monkeys with 2 fake model mothers, 8 studied for 165 days, for 4 milk dispensed attached to wire mother and for four milk attached to cloth mother
Monkeys observed and measured time spent with each mother, & which they chose when frightened


What did Harlow find?

All 8 spent most time with cloth mother, (didn't matter if wire fed them), when scared all monkeys clung to cloth mother, babies would also keep a foot on cloth m when playing (for reassurance?)


What did Harlow's findings suggest?

The infants didn't attach to the person that fed them but to the mother that offered them contact comfort


What are the strengths of Harlow's research?

Theoretical value (comfort not cupboard love/importance of high quality early relationships), Real life applications


What are the weaknesses of Harlow's research?

Unethical (monkeys suffered greatly, lasting effects and emotional damage) & can we really apply findings from monkeys to humans?


What are the real life applications of Harlow's research?

Helped social workers understand the risk factors in child neglect and abuse (so can prevent it more easily), helped to form best care for captive monkeys in zoos


What was Bowlby's perspective on attachment?

Evolutionary- attachment is an innate pre-programmed system that has developed through evolution- attachment provides a survival advantage


What are the 5 key points of Bowlby's monotropic theory?

Adaptive, Social releasers, Critical period, Monotropy, Internal working model (ASCMI)


What does A stand for in Bowlby's Monotropic theory?

Adaptive: attachments mean our species have an adaptive advantage- more likely to survive- if infant has attachment to caregiver, they get food/safety/warmth


What does S stand for in Bowlby's Monotropic theory?

Social releasers: 'cute' behaviours we're pre-programmed to do (cooing/smiling etc). Encourages adult attention to activate adult attachment system


What does C stand for in Bowlby's Monotropic theory?

Critical period: intimate biological behaviours often have time frames. Infant attachment active for only up to 2 / 2 1/2yrs. After this attachments can't be formed. Attachments formed over time based on sensitivity


What does M stand for in Bowlby's Monotropic theory?

Monotropy: Mono=one, Bowlby put emphasis on primary caregiver- more important than others. Bowlby called this person the 'mother' but later stated it needn't be biological mother


What were Bowlby's 2 key principles of Monotropy?

law of continuity: More constant and predictable a child's care the better quality of attachment
law of accumulated separation: effects of every separation from mother add up "and the safest therefore is zero"


What does I stand for in Bowlby's Monotropic theory?

Internal working model: Monotropy means an infant has 1 special relationship- this helps them form a mental framework for relationships, the internal working model
(Also gives infant insight into the caregiver's behaviour and enables them to influence)


What support is there for Bowlby's monotropic theory?

Social releasers- Brazelton et al, Monotropy- Suess et al, internal working model- Bailey et al


What is a criticism of Bowlby's monotropic theory?

Socially sensitive idea


What research did Brazelton et al do?

observed mothers + babies during their interactions and reported existence of interactional synchrony. They extended this into experiment asking primary attachment figure to ignore baby's social releasers- found initially baby upset at being ignored but eventually curled up and lay motionless. Showed significance of social releasers in eliciting caregiving


What research did Suess et al do?

Studied children's attachments to mum + dad & later relationship formation, found attachment to mother most important in predicting future relationship behaviour. Suggests Bowlby correct in mother importance. BUT, some argue while primary attachment stronger doesn't = different quality


Why is Bowlby's monotropic theory a socially sensitive idea?

Bowlby is saying that any time mother is separate from child = disadvantage/damage for child in future
Places burden on mothers- set up to be blamed for anything that goes wrong on the child's life
Also feeds stereotypical gender roles and limits options available to women. (But Bowlby argued he was elevating importance of mothering roles)


What did Ainsworth et al create/what was her aim?

Strange situation, aimed to produce a method of assessing the quality of attachment


What 4 things does the strange situation test?

Stranger anxiety: infant response to stranger, separation anxiety: unease shown when caregiver leaves, exploration: willingness to explore, reunion behaviour: way caregiver greeted on return


What was the procedure of the strange situation?

Parent + infant play, 1. parent sits-infant plays (secure base), 2. stranger talks to parent (stranger anx), 3. parent leaves infant plays stranger offers comfort if needed (separation anx), 4. parent returns greet infant, stranger leaves (reunion behaviour), 5. parent leaves, infant alone (separation anx), 6 stranger enters +offers comfort (stranger anx),7 parent returns greets infant (reunion behaviour)


What 3 groups did Ainsworth create?

Securely attached (type B- 66%), insecure-avoidant (type A- 22%), insecure-resistant (type C- 12%)


What were the characteristics of secure attachment?

explored- using mother as base, subdued when mum left, greeted her positively on return, moderate avoidance of stranger- although friendly with mum present, mothers 'sensitive'


What were the characteristics of insecure avoidant attachment?

explored without mum, not bothered by her absence, little interest on her return, avoided stranger but not as strongly as they avoided mother on her return, mums sometimes avoided their child


What were the characteristics of insecure resistant attachment?

intense distress, particularly when mum left, but rejected her when she returned, ambivalent to stranger- similar to resistance and interest pattern shown to mother on her return, mothers inconsistent with infants


What were the aims of Van Ijzendoorn and Kroonenburg's research?

To see if Ainsworth's classifications of attachment types were universal or culture bound
investigate attachment type both between and with cultures by comparing the findings of studies using strange situation conducted in different cultures


What was the procedure of Van Ijzendoorn and Kroonenburg's research?

Conducted a meta analysis- reviewed 32 worldwide studies involving 8 countries, over 2000 strange situation classifications
These studies conducted by other researchers and V + K compared the studies, looking for inter-cultural and intra cultural trends


What were the findings of Van Ijzendoorn and Kroonenburg's research?

Across all cultures most predominant attachment type is secure. Differences between countries- avoidant highest in Germany a 35%, resistant highest in Israel at 29%


What were Ijzendoorn and Kroonenburg's conclusions?

Secure attachment is the best for healthy social/emotional development. Cultural similarities support view that attachment is an innate and biological process


What are the strengths of Ijzendoorn and Kroonenburg's research?

Gneralisable- cross cultural, Reliablility- standardised procedure, application- parenting style, validity- ecological validity (as with Ainsworth), internal validity


What are the weaknesses of Ijzendoorn and Kroonenburg's research?

Not generalizable- number of studies still biased to USA (18 USA studies and 1 to 4 of every other country)
Ethics- imposing American study and classifications on other cultures


What did Simonella et al study?

Italian study- assessed 76 year old babies usng Strange situation; 50% secure, 36% insecure avoidant,14% insecure-resistant


What did Simonella et al conclude?

That the lower rates of secure attachment due to more working mothers, that cultural changes can make a dramatic difference to the patterns of attachment types


What are the cross cultural psychology ideas of etic and emic?

Etic- cultural universals (general laws to apply to everyone across culture)
Emic- cultural uniqueness (specific to a culture)
trying to impose techniques for one culture onto another is known as imposed etic


What are the strengths of the strange situation?

research support: Bick et al, application:circle of security project


What are the weaknesses of the strange situation (SS)?

Culture bound: Takahashi, more than 3 types..? Main and Solomon


What research did Bick et al do into the strange situation?

Inter-rater reliability in a team of trained situation observers found agreement on attachment type for 94% of pps tested


What research did Takahashi do?

Suggested SS may be culture bound, test didn't work in Japan as Japanese mothers rarely separate from their children in early years (due to traditional gender roles), babies more anxious at separation.
Also said that mothers would smother/scoop up babies on reunion- difficult to observe


What was the circle of security project?

Teaches caregivers to better understand infants' behaviour, decrease in disordered caregivers 60% to 15%, increase in infant secure attachment 32% to 40%, attachment research can improve children's lives


What did Main and Solomon find?

Suggested fourth attachment type (Type D) 'disorganised attachment' - these children showed an odd mix of resistant and avoidant attachments
Suggested original sample size was too small


What were two studies during the 40s of maternal deprivation?

Spitz and Wolf: observed 100 'normal' children placed institutions- they became depressed within months
Skodak and Skeels: fond institutionalised children scored badly on IQ tests. When transferred to somewhere with better emotional care IQ improved by up to 30 points


What was Bowlby's theory about emotional deprivation?

Stated that prolonged emotional deprivation would have long term effects on emotional development


What were Bowlby's three distinctions of deprivation?

Seperation: child not in the presence of their primary attachment figure, but has good substitute care
Deprevation: separation but with NO substitute care
Privation: when they are never able to form an attachment


What was Bowlby's theory of maternal deprivation?

That if you're denied 'mother love' for prolonged time you may become emotionally disturbed. However this only applies to the critical period (pre 21/2 yrs)
Also only if no mother substitute


What were the two key suggested effects of maternal deprivation?

intellectual development impeded (Skodak + Skeels)
emotional development impeded; child could suffer from affectionless psychopathy- inability to experience guilt or emotion for others (association with criminals and lack of relationships)


What was the PDD model of deprivation/disruption of attachment?

Protest, Despair, Detachment (what happens when deprivation occurs)


Who studied the PDD model?

Robertson + Robertson: John 17months- mother hospitalised 10 days. no substitute care, went quiet and rocked himself, when mother returned attachment now insecure
Jane- 17months- mother in hospital 10 days, looked after by Robertsons- good substitute care, still securely attached on mother's return


What are the strengths of Bowlby's theory of maternal deprivation?

Research support- Harlow's monkeys, Bifullo et al


What are the weaknesses of Bowlby's theory of maternal deprivation?

Lewis, Koluchova (critical period not set in stone)


Why do Harlow's monkeys support Bowlby's maternal deprivation theory?

Long term psychological effects of no biological mother- self harm and distress- emotional damage- couldn't socialise, those that reproduced couldn't look after/attacked children


What was Bifullo's research?

Supports long-term effects of maternal deprivation: adult women who had suffered deprivation had 10% higher rates of mental illness than control group (25% v 15%)


What was Lewis' research?

Recreated 44 thieves study, but with 500 young people.
Found history of maternal deprivation didn't predict criminality or difficulty forming relationships
Suggests these factors may effect the outcome of only early maternal deprivation


What was Koluchova's research?

Reported case of twin boys from Czechoslovakia- step mother locked them in cupboard from 18 months to 7 yrs old, (studied them from 7-18 yrs) Adopted by 2 loving adults and recovered fully, suggests critical period is more a sensitive period and that permanent damage from MD is not inevitable


What was the aim and method of Bowlby's 44 juvenile thieves study?

to test maternal deprivation theory. Compared 44 juvenile thieves with another group of emotionally disturbed teens not thieves, (ages 5-16), diagnosed 14 of thieves as affectionless psychopaths, info collected from children + parents about early life/separation


What were the findings of Bowlby's 44 thieves study?

Affectionless thieves: frequent early separations from mothers, 86% frequent separations compared to 17% of other thieves. 39% total of all thieves.
Almost none of control pps had experienced early separations.


What were the conclusions of Bowlby's 44 thieves study?

Link between early separation and becoming a thief, also suggests link between early separation and affectionless psychopathy.


What does the term institutionalisation mean?

A term for the effect of living in an institution (e.g. hospital/orphanage) for a prolonged time. Individuals tend to develop specific intellectual, physical and emotional/social characteristics e.g. rocking/staring/head banging


What was Rutter's aim?

To investigate the effects of institutionalisation on children, in particular in relation to attachment formation


What was the procedure of Rutter's experiment?

165 Romanian orphans, who spent early lives in Romanian institutions
111 adopted before 2yrs, 54 by 4yrs. Tested at regular intervals (4, 6, 11 + 15yrs) physical, cognitive + social.
Interviews with parents and teachers. Compared to control group of 52 British children adopted prior to 6 months


What were Rutter's findings?

At time of adoption Romanian's lagged on all measures of development. Smaller, weighed less, + "mentally retarded". By 4 some had caught up, almost all for Romanians adopted before 6 months. Significant deficits remain in minority of 6 months+ of institutions. Many adopted after 6 months struggled with attachment and peer relationships


What were Rutter's conclusions?

Long term effects of institutionalisation must be less severe than once thought IF children have opportunity to form attachments.


What were the aims of the Bucharest intervention project?

to study attachment formation of institutionalised children


What was the procedure of the Bucharest intervention project?

Used strange Situation to assess attachment of 95 institutionalised children aged 12-31 months. Control of 50 children who had never been in an institution. Carers asked about unusual social behaviour, including attention seeking directed inappropriately at all adults


What were the findings of the Bucharest intervention project?

19% securely attached, 65% disorganised attachment, 74% of control group securely attached
disinhibited attachment 44% institutionalised and 20% of control group


What were the conclusions of the Bucharest intervention project?

Institutionalisation impacts on the long term attachment formation of children


How can the effects of institutionalisation be summarised?

disinhibited attachment, physical underdevelopment, intellectual under functioning, poor parenting in future


What are the strengths of Romanian orphan studies?

Real world applications, longitudinal research shows improvements over time, generalizable to institutionalised children, ecological validity


What is the main weakness of Romanian orphan studies?

Lack of emotional care not the only factor- results of institutionalisation may have been caused by the maltreatment/malnutrition/appalling conditions of the institutions


What did Stroufe study?

Minnesota child parent study: found link between early attachment type and later social behaviour, Children who were secure as infants were rated as more socially competent in childhood, + more empathetic.
Because their IWM gave them higher expectations of others as friendly and trusting allowing easier relationships


What was Hazan and Shaver's study procedure?

Placed the 'love quiz' in the Rocky mountain news. Quiz assessed current most important relationship, general love experiences and attachment type. Analysed 620 responses, 205 men, 415 women


What was the suggested outcome of Hazan and Shaver's study?

Secure = positive relationships, trusting & believing in love, +image of mother. Resistant= preoccupied by love, fall in love easily but trouble with real love, conflicting memories of mum. Avoidant= fear of closeness, love 'isn't durable or needed', cold & rejecting mothers


What were the results of Hazan and Shaver's study?

Found similar proportions of attachment type to Ainsworth. (56% secure, 25% avoidant, 19% resistant)


What aspects of life can the internal working model affect?

poor parenting (Harlow's monkeys), mental health


What are the strengths of Hazan and Shaver's study?

Simson et al- Assessed infant attachment type at 1yr then reassessed as teens + adults. Found secure infants= higher social competence as children, closer friends at 16 and more attached to romantic partners as adults.


What are the weaknesses of Hazan and Shaver's study?

Not longitudinal- no effect over time child to adult, based on recollection- which may be flawed/tainted by situation as adults, Zimmerman


What did Zimmerman find?

Assessed infant attachment to parents and again as adolescents. Found no correlation in quality of attachment types