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Flashcards in Attachment in Psychology Deck (11)
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1

What is meant by reciprocity in terms of attachment?

- Infants co-ordinate their actions with their caregiver in sort of a conversation.
- Babies move in a rhythm when interacting with their caregiver, taking turns. Each person responds to the other and elicits a response from them.
- Brazelton suggested these interactions are important in later communications. The regularity of the infant's signals allows the caregiver to anticipate the infant's behaviour and respond appropriately.

2

What is meant by interactional synchrony in terms of attachment?

- Imitation of facial expressions or body language.
- Caregiver and infant interact in such a way that their actions and emotions mirror each other.
- Meltzoff and Moore observed the beginnings of interactional synchrony and observed that babies as young as two weeks old would imitate specific facial and hand gestures.
- In 1983, they were able to demonstrate interactional synchrony with infants who were only three days old.

3

Evaluate caregiver-infant interactions.

- Infants' mouths are in fairly constant motion.
- Infants' behaviours are specific social response to other humans - it is intentional. Little response to inanimate objects.
- Controlled observations capture fine details.
- Socially sensitive research.
- When observing babies, we do not really know what is happening.
- Failure to replicate.

4

Outline the role of the father in attachment.

- Traditionally, caregiver-infant interactions have been thought of in terms of mother-infant interaction.
- Schaffer and Emerson found that most infants formed an attachment with their mother first at around 7 months, then formed secondary attachments with other family members, including the father, later on.
- Found that 75% of infants formed an attachment with father by 18 months, determined by separation protest.
- Grossman carried out a longitudinal study looking at both parents' behaviour and quality of children's attachment in their teens.
- Quality of infant's attachment with their mothers but not fathers was related to children.s attachment in adolescence, suggesting father attachment was less important.
- Quality of fathers' play with infants was related to quality of adolescence attachment. Suggests fathers have a different role, more to do with play than nurturing.

5

Evaluate the role of the father in attachment

- Nature of nurture? Fathers rarely being primary caregivers may be due to social norms but could also be due to a lack of oestrogen.
- Children that have grown up without fathers, in same-sex or single families seem to develop normally.
- Inconsistent findings due to different researchers being interested in different research questions.

6

Outline the key study of Schaffer and Emerson.

Aim: To investigate the formation of attachments.
- 60 babies - 31 male, 29 female.
- All from Glasgow and skilled working-class families.
- Visited mothers and infants every month for a year and then again at 18 months.
- Asked mothers questions about kind of protest infants showed in seven everyday separations. Questions were assessing separation protest and stranger anxiety to measure attachment.
- Between 25 and 32 weeks, 50% of infants showed separation anxiety towards a specific adult i.e. had developed a specific attachment.
- Attachment tended to be with the caregiver who was most sensitive and interactive to the infants signals and facial expressions (i.e. reciprocity) and not necessarily the person who spent the most time with the adult.
- At 40 weeks, about 80% had developed a specific attachment and about 30% had developed multiple attachments.

7

Evaluate Schaffer and Emerson's study.

- Good external validity: carried out in their homes and most observations done by parents. Unlikely to be any change in behaviour.
- Longitudinal study: high internal validity because same children are observed and confounding variables such as individual differences are less likely to occur.
- Limited sample characteristics: all 60 infants were from same area and same working class. Child-rearing practices vastly differ from one culture to another, cannot generalise.

8

Outline the stages of attachment proposed by Schaffer and Emmerson.

1. Asocial stage: 0-2 months.
- Same behaviour to inanimate objects and humans.
- Towards end of stage, infant begins to show preference for human interaction.
2. Indiscriminate stage: 2-7 months.
- Prefer human interaction than non-human objects.
- Can distinguish between familiar and unfamiliar adults. - Comforted by strangers. Infant does not display any signs of stranger anxiety or separation protest.
3. Specific attachment: 7 months plus.
- Stranger anxiety and distress when separated from a particular adult (i.e. primary attachment figure).
- Not necessarily person infant spends the most time with, but someone who is sensitive and interactive to the infants; signals.
4. Multiple attachments: Shortly after specific attachment
- Attachments with adults regularly spend time with.
- Secondary attachment figures.
- Display separation anxiety to all attachment figures.

9

Evaluate the stages of attachment.

- Asocial stage difficult to assess: babies have poor co-ordination and are generally immobile during this time.
- Conflicting evidence on multiple attachments: (e.g. collectivist cultures.)
- Problems measuring multiple attachments: distress does not equal attachment.
- Separation protest and stranger anxiety are observable - can achieve inter-rater reliability.
- Separation protest and stranger anxiety are too crude as measures of attachment - simple behaviours but attachment is much more complex.

10

Outline Lorenz's research into imprinting.

- Randomly divided a clutch of goose eggs.
- Half hatched in natural env. in front of mother, other half hatched in incubator where the first moving thing they saw was Lorenz.
- Incubator group followed Lorenz everywhere and control group followed their mother everywhere.
- Mixed up both groups, control group continued to follow mother and incubator group, Lorenz.
- 'Imprinting': newborn bird species attach to first object they see moving, critical period as brief as a few hours after hatching.
- Observed that birds who had imprinted on a human would later on display courtship behaviour towards only humans; called this sexual imprinting.

11

Evaluate Lorenz's study

- Generalisability to humans: mammalian attachment system is quite different to that of birds.
- Lorenz's conclusions have been questioned: Guiton et al and imprinting on yellow washing up gloves.