Chapter 7 - Emotional and Social Development in Infancy and Toddlerhood Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Chapter 7 - Emotional and Social Development in Infancy and Toddlerhood Deck (71)
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Erikson’s Theory of Infant and Toddler Personality

The first two stages of Erikson’s theory are said to occur in the infant and toddler years

Basic trust versus mistrust – balance of care, sympathetic and loving(quality)
Autonomy versus shame and doubt – suitable guidance and reasonable choices (toilet training)


How do we judge what an infant is feeling?

What’s a potential problem with this method?

Then why do we use it?

Facial expressions

Many reasons to smile.
Subjective correlations and expressions

It is the only way we have
Use multiple cues


Emotional development

Expressions become more like caregivers
6m faces, gaze, voice and posture form organized emotional patterns
6m emotions are well organized and specific


Basic emotions


Universal, evolutionary survival, seen in primates



Smiles when learning new motor or cognitive skill
• Smile During REM in response to gentle touching or pleasant sound

Happiness is initially expressed in smiles, and later also in laughter
• We see smiling in newborns
• Laughter at about 3-4 months

By 10 to 12 months, babies already have different smiles for different functions and contexts
• A broad smile with raised cheeks in response to a parent’s greeting (social smile)
• A smaller smile for friendly strangers
• An open-mouthed smile for stimulating play
• At the end of the first year, they can use smiles as deliberate social signals



Expressions of anger increase in frequency and intensity from 4 to 6 months into the second year
As they become more capable of intentional behaviour, they begin showing an increase in anger responses in situations in which they lose contingent control



Expressions of sadness are seen more often when
The child is deprived of a familiar, loving caregiver
Parent-infant interaction is seriously disrupted, as in the still-face paradigm

Fear also increases in the second half of the first year
Strangers (stranger anxiety) and separation from caregivers are common sources of fear


Secure base

A point from which to explore, returning for emotional support (were the parents are)


Understanding and Responding to the Emotions of Others

3-4m sensitive to structure and timing of face-to-face interactions. Expecting their partner to respond in kind
By 5 months, babies perceive facial expressions as organized patterns
They distinguish, for instance, between happy and angry expressions
7m look longer at appropriate face-voice emotional pairing
We begin to see social referencing at about 8 to 10 months
As they approach the second year, babies develop the ability to respond to social referencing after a delay.
18m Can start to distingus others emotional reaction can be different from their own. (crackers or broccoli test)


social referencing

Actively seeking emotional information from a trusted person in an uncertain situation


Emotional contagion

Theory that babies respond in kind to others emotions through a built in automatic process

Others think that it is because of operant conditioning – getting positive reward responses from others


Self-conscious emotions

emotions such as shame, embarrassment, guilt, envy, and pride that involve injury to or enhancement of the sense of self
appears in 18m - 24m.
Envy by 3

cognitive advances necessary for these to develop
- self awareness
- figure out expectations


Emotional self-regulation

Emotional self-regulation - strategies for adjusting our emotional state to a comfortable level of intensity so we can accomplish our goals
The effortful control that’s necessary for this develops gradually as the cerebral cortex develops
Caregivers teach children strategies for regulating their emotions
Individual differences in capacity for emotional self-regulation are apparent early
Language leads to new ways to regulate emotion and parents should encourage this
Emotional self-regulation in the first two years contributes to autonomy and mastery of cognitive and social skills



Temperament - early-appearing, stable individual differences in the quality and intensity of emotional reaction, activity level, attention, and emotional self-regulation. Reactivity: quickness and intensity of emotional arousal, attention, and motor activity. Self-regulation: strategies that modify reactivity.

Temperament is believed to form the foundation for adult personality
– Thomas and Chess found that temperament influences a child’s chances of experiencing psychological problems later, but also that parenting practices can modify a child’s emotional style



quickness and intensity of emotional arousal, attention, and motor activity



strategies that modify reactivity


Thomas and Chess found that most children fit into one of 3 categories

Thomas and Chess found that temperament influences a child’s chances of experiencing psychological problems later, but also that parenting practices can modify a child’s emotional style.

40% Easy child
10% Difficult child
15% Slow-to-warm-up child
35% No category – blends of the other thee


Easy child - Thomas and Chess

Quickly establishes regular routines in infancy, is generally cheerful and adapts quickly and easily to new experiences


Difficult child - Thomas and Chess

Irregular in daily routines, slow to accept new experiences, tends to react negatively and intensely

Research often focuses on difficult children because they are at higher risk for adjustment problems
- Anxious withdrawal and aggressive behaviour in early and middle childhood


Slow-to-warm-up child - Thomas and Chess

Inactive, shows mild low key reactions to environmental stimuli, is negative in mood, and adjusts slowly to new experiences.

Slow-to-warm-up children show comparatively fewer problems in early years
- In late preschool and school years, there’s an increased tendency for excessive fearfulness and slow-constricted behaviour


Rothbart’s Model of Temperament


• Activity level – level of gross motor activity
• Attention span/persistence
• Fearful distress – reaction to novel stimuli
• Irritable distress – fussing, crying
• Positive affect

• Effortful control – voluntarily supress a dominant, reactive response in order to plan and execute more adaptive responce


Measuring Temperament

Temperament is often measured by
- Interviewing (or administering questionnaires to) parents
- Interviewing (or administering questionnaires to) other adults familiar with the child
- Directly observing the child

Physiological measures are sometimes used, particularly for children at opposite extremes of the positive-affect and fearful-distress dimensions of temperament
- Inhibited or shy child versus uninhibited or sociable child


Stability of Temperament

The degree of stability you’ll find in a temperamental attribute depends in part on
- The attribute you’re investigating
- Whether or not the child is at an extreme on that attribute
- The age of the child

Evidence indicates that even traits that seem biologically based can be modified by environmental events
- Patient, supportive parents can help fearful or irritable toddlers to manage their reactivity and become less difficult over time
- Note that parents are unlikely to succeed at taking a child from one extreme (e.g., very shy) to the other (very sociable), but can decrease the intensity of a response (the child could become less shy)


Genetic Influences on temperament

Research indicates that monozygotic twins are more alike on a variety of temperamental and personality traits than are dizygotic twins

However, it’s important to keep in mind that
- Genetic influences vary with the temperamental trait
- Genetic influences vary with the age of the individual


We see consistent ethnic and sex differences in early temperament

- Asian babies, compared to North American Caucasian, tend to be less active, irritable, and vocal, more easily soothed, and better at quieting themselves
- Boys tend to be more active and daring than girls, more irritable when frustrated, more often express high-intensity pleasure in play, and are more impulsive
- Girls tend to be more anxious and timid, and show higher effortful control


Goodness-of-fit model

Thomas and Chess’s model, which states that an effective match, or “good fit, between a child’s temperament and the child-rearing environment leads to more adaptive functioning, whereas a “poor fit” results in adjustment problems

Consider that difficult infants are less likely than others to receive sensitive caregiving
- When parents of difficult infants are able to remain calm, and allow their children to adjust to new experiences at their own pace, we’re less likely to see the unfavourable outcomes associated with a difficult temperament

Cultural values also influence the fit that children experience
- In the past, Chinese adults evaluated shy children positively
 Shy children were likely to receive caregiving that fit their temperaments and were well-adjusted both academically and socially
 There’s been a recent trend toward encouraging assertiveness and sociability, which leads sociable children to now receive a better fit

Development is often more favourable if parents strive early to provide their children with a good fit
- Children who are difficult or shy benefit from warm, accepting parenting that makes firm but reasonable demands for mastering new experiences
- With reserved, inactive toddlers, highly stimulating parenting fosters exploration



the strong affectionate tie that humans have for special people in their lives

By 6 months, infants are showing attachment to familiar people who have responded to their needs

Both psychodynamic and behaviourist views of attachment tend to emphasize feeding

However, Harlow has taught us that contact comfort is at least as important as feeding, probably more so

We know children become attached to people who seldom feed them, such as siblings and grandparents

In cultures in which children sleep alone, we even see attachments to soft objects such as blankets or teddy bears


Ethological theory of attachment

Ethological theory of attachment - Bowlby’s theory that the infant’s emotional tie to the caregiver is an evolved response that promotes survival
Bowlby retained the psychoanalytic view that Baby’s relationship with Mom will have far-reaching consequences
Feeding is NOT the basis of atachment
He suggested that, like other species, we have built-in characteristics and behaviours that are designed to ensure our survival
- By keeping Mom close, for instance, or encouraging her to care for us


Ethological theory of attachment
Four phases of attachment

1. Preattachment phase (birth-6 weeks): built-in signals, such as smiling and crying, help bring newborn babies into close contact with other humans; Baby recognizes Mom’s smell, voice, and face, and shows some preference, but doesn’t mind being left with an unfamiliar adult

2. “Attachment in the making” phase (6 weeks – 6 to 8 months): shows clear preference for Mom, behaving differently toward her than other adults, but not yet showing separation protest (developing a sense of trust – that the care giver will respond when they are needed)

3. “Clear-cut” attachment phase (6 to 8 months – 18 months to 2 years): attachment is evident, separation anxiety is displayed (not always and it decreases indicating the baby knows that mom continues to exist and is coming back); Baby tends to approach, follow, and climb on Mom, and use her as a secure base

4. Formation of a reciprocal relations (18 months to 2 years and onwards): separation protest declines as Baby becomes more capable of understanding that Mom will come back; however, we’ll often see children using other means to try to delay Mom’s departure


Ethological theory of attachment
Internal working model

set of expectations, derived from early caregiving experiences, about the availability of attachment figures, their likelihood of providing support during times of stress, and the self’s interaction with those figures, which becomes a guide for all future close relationships