Chapter 5: Psychosocial Development in the First 2 Years Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Chapter 5: Psychosocial Development in the First 2 Years Deck (34):

Psychosocial development

an aspect of development that explains how we acquire attitudes and skills that encompass changes in our interaction with and understandings of one another, as well as knowledge and understanding of ourselves as members of society


Transition to Parenthood

• Major adjustment for first-time parents- Personal, familial, social, professional

• Adjustment to family roles

• Reallocation of household tasks

• Changes in parents’ social and emotional interactions

• Marital satisfaction of new parents related to paternal involvement


Erikson's Two major tasks of psychosocial development in infancy

1. Trust (vs. mistrust) 2. Autonomy (vs. shame and doubt)


Most important factor in maintaining marital satisfaction

Higher levels of paternal involvement with a baby- especially in caregiving


Caregiver-infant synchrony

Patterns of closely coordinated social and emotional interactions 


• Joint attention

• Reciprocal turn-taking in interactions


• Match of mood and temperament

• Mismatch leads to later adjustment problems

• Thomas and Chess (1977) model


Father-Infant Interactions


• Increased involvement of fathers

• Increased role-reversal

• Fathers’ style of play different from mothers’- Shorter, more active, less ritualized



• Jain, Belsky, and Crnic (1996) interaction types (fathers, 4):

• Caregivers

• Playmates-teachers

• Disciplinarians

• Disengaged

Fathers with caregiver and playmates-teachers interactions types tend to be more educated, better adjusted emotionally, were able to rely on others and experienced fewer daily hassles than disciplinarian and disengaged fathers


Fathers with caregiver and playmates-teachers interactions types

tend to be more educated, better adjusted emotionally, were able to rely on others and experienced fewer daily hassles than disciplinarian and disengaged fathers


Interactions with siblings and grandparents


  • Relationship with parents disrupted by new arrival
  • May take caring role
  • Use parentese to communicate
  • Conflict and jealousy if preferential treatment is given to one child


  • Secondary source of support and advice
  • May be primary caregivers 


Forms of non-parental childcare

Formal, regulated care
• Long day-care, after-school care

Informal care
• Family or friends

Childcare meets parents’ needs

• Employment, socialisation, respite, dealing with personal or family matters 


Interactions with peers

Reciprocal socialisation

Mutual regulation model

• Basis for future social interactions

• Quality of parent-child relationship determines behaviour with peers (i.e., attachment)

• Day-care experience related to positive peer relationships 

Reciprocal socialisation

• Invites and elicits response

Mutual regulation model

• Communicate and respond effectively



Etholgocial view

Psychoanalytic view

Harlow and Zimmerman (1959)

Attachment: strong and enduring emotional bond that develops between an infant and caregiver in first year of life

Ethological view
 • Biologically based, inherited adaptation

Psychoanalytic view
 • Emotional ties with mother provide basis for future relationships

Comfort more important than food

 • proved by Harlow and Zimmerman (1959) reesus monkey experiment 

A image thumb

How attachment is inferred


by signalling and approach behaviours

Signaling behaviours:




Approach behaviours



Non-nutritional sucking

Following or gazing


Bowlby's Phases of Attachment (4)

Phase 1 (birth - 2 months)

• Indiscriminate sociability

Phase 2 (2 - 7 months)
• Attachments in the making
• Increasing preference for familiar carers

Phase 3 (7 - 24 months)

• Specific, clear-cut attachments

• Separation and stranger anxiety

Phase 4 (24 months +)

• Goal-coordinated partnerships 


The strange situation (Ainsworth)

A image thumb

Patterns of attachment

  • Secure (60-70%)
  • Anxious-resistant (10%)
  • Anxious-avoidant (20%)
  • Disorganised-disoriented (5-10%)


Secure attachment

  • 65 – 70%
  • When first alone with mothers, typically played happily
  • Wary when stranger entered; still played happily
  • When left alone with stranger, typically stopped playing and searched for mother
  • Happy when mother returned and actively sought contact and interaction
  • When left alone again with stranger, they were easily comforted 


Anxious-resistant attachment

• 10%

• Stayed close to mother; explored minimally

• When mother returns, actively sought contact, but at same time resisted mother’s effort to comfort them

• Refused comfort from stranger 


Anxious-avoidant attachment

• 20%

• Little involvement with mother

• Treated mother and stranger the same

• Rarely cried on separation

• Mixed response on mother’s return – low level engagement and tendency to avoid

• Uninterested in the environment 


Disorganised-disoriented attachment

• Rare category – later added by Main and colleagues

• Somewhere between 5 – 10%

• Greatest degree of insecurity

• Confused/unpredictable and contradictory reactions to mother’s leaving and returning

• May appear dazed/disoriented when reunited 


Cross-cultural variations of attachment

  • Patterns of attachment vary across and within cultures
  • Cultural values
    • Personal independence
    • Expectations of compliance
  • Temperament
  • Child-rearing practices
    • Restricted contact with others 


Consequences of attachment

• Securely attached infants cooperate better with adults, comply better with rules, learn more readily from parents

• Less securely attached do not learn as well form parents

• Disorganised-disoriented attachment found in disturbed caregiving

• Patterns persist into preschool years and beyond 


Parental influences on attachment


  • Sensitivity of care most important
  • Based on their own ‘working models’


  • Similar to mothers’ attachment, but interactions are different
  • Spend less time with children
  • Parental conflict can impact on attachment, particularly for fathers 


Working models

internalized perceptions, feelings and expectations regarding social and emotional relationships with significant caregivers


Factors Affecting Attachment 

Quality of caregiving
• Respond promptly and consistently

• “Interactional synchrony”

Infant characteristics
• E.g., temperament, special needs, prematurity, illness

Family circumstances

• Stressful or calm?

Parents’ internal working models

• Parents’ own attachment experiences
• Parents’ ability to accept their past 



Infants classed as easy, difficult or slow-to-warm- up, based on ratings in nine dimensions: 

• Activity

• Rhythmicity

• Approach-withdrawal

• Adaptability to new situations

• Emotional reactivity

• Responsiveness to stimulation

• Quality of mood

• Distractibility
• Attention span 


Emotional capabilities

A image thumb

Childcare and multiple carers

• Many factors influencing non-maternal care: e.g., dual-income and single parent families, changing ideas about child-rearing

• Conflicting research findings on effects of non- maternal attachment in infants and toddlers

• Quality of care important

• Cultural evidence of benefits of multiple carers through adding to a network of secure attachments or compensating for absence 


Adult attachment styles (4)

Adult Attachment Interview

  • Adult assessment of their childhood attachment
  1. Autonomous (secure)
  2. Dismissing (insecure)
  3. Preoccupied (insecure)
  4. Unresolved-disorganised 


Erikson: Toddler Development 

Stage 1

Stage 2

Stage 1: Basic trust vs. mistrust
• Trust helps develop hope
• Mistrust leads to fear, distress, apathy

Stage 2: Autonomy vs. shame and doubt

• Autonomy leads to independence
• Shame leads to loss of self-respect
• Imbalance may also lead to shyness

Boundaries provide social and physical safety

Parents need to balance freedom and control 


Sources of autonomy

• Draws on psychoanalytic theory

Operant conditioning
• Reinforcement for desirable behaviours

Observational learning
• Imitation of parents and caregivers

Social referencing
• Sensitivity to feelings of parents
• Ability to use cues to guide responses 


Development of self

Self-recognition and self-awareness

• Rouge test

Self-description and self-evaluation

• Self-descriptive vocabulary

Knowledge of standards and emotional response to wrongdoing

• Start to accept responsibility, apologise, and make reparation

• Start to initiate challenging activities 


Development of Competence and Self- Esteem (White 1993)

suggests socially competent toddlers likely to display capabilities in these areas:

  • Getting and holding adult attention
  • Using adults as resources for difficult tasks
  • Expressing affection and mild annoyance to adults
  • Leading and following peers
  • Expressing affection and mild annoyance to peers
  • Competing with peers
  • Showing pride in accomplishments
  • Engaging in role play or make-believe