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

PSYC 3351 Topics in Child Development > Chapter 7 - Emotional and Social Development in Infancy and Toddlerhood > Flashcards

Flashcards in Chapter 7 - Emotional and Social Development in Infancy and Toddlerhood Deck (71):

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


The four attachment styles

Secure attachment
Avoidant attachment
Resistant attachment
Disorganized/disoriented attachment


Strange Situation

a laboratory method used to assess the quality of attachment between age 1 and 2 years by observing the baby’s responses to eight short episodes, in which brief separations from and reunions with the caregiver occur in an unfamiliar playroom
designed by Mary Ainsworth

Secure attachment – use parents a secure base, when separated they may or may not cry, but if they do it is because they prefer mom to stranger, when mom returns they seek contact with her and stops crying. 60%

Avoidant attachment – unresponsive to mom when they are in the room and do not react when they leave. They react to stranger the same way. When mom comes back they are slow to greet them if at all. And when they are picked up they fail to cling. 15%

Resistant attachment – before separation they seek closeness and fail to explore. When the mom leaves that are unusually distressed. When the mom comes back they are clingy and angry, resistive. Pushing, hitting and can’t be calmed easily. 10%

Disorganized/disoriented attachment – greatest insecurity. At reunion these infants seem confused, contradictory behaviors – looking away, approaching with flat, depressed, and emotion. Dazed facial expression, cry out unexpectedly, odd frozen postures


Issues with the Strange Situation procedure

- It’s not useful in children over the age of 2
- It looks only at attachment behaviours in conditions of mild fear


The Attachment Q-Sort (or Attachment Q-Set)

is an alternative to Strange Situation
Suitable for 1 to 4
Depends on home observations
90 behaviors on a scale of descriptive to not descriptive
Parents are not accurate but it’s hard to get an outside observer to dedicate the hours
Better reflect parent-infant relationship in everyday life
Time consuming
Does not differentiate between types of insecure


Stability of Attachment

The stability of attachment over time depends to a large extent on family environment
• For middle-SES babies experiencing favourable life conditions, attachment is usually secure and stable
• In low-SES families with many daily stresses, little social support, and parental psychological problems, attachment tends to become less secure over time


Factors that Affect Attachment Security

• Early availability of consistent caregiver
• Quality of care giving
• The babies characteristics
• Family context (including parents internal working models


Institutionalized babies
(Early availability of consistent caregiver)

• Babies in institutions in which they have little to no one-on-one care tend to lose weight, weep, withdraw from their surroundings, and have difficulties sleeping
• In institutions in which babies get one-on-one care, but there is rapid turnover of caregivers, there can also be problems


Later problems of adopted children who were infants in institutions in which babies get one-on-one care, but there is rapid turnover of caregivers
(Early availability of consistent caregiver)

These babies can develop deep emotional ties with adoptive parents, even if they are adopted late, but can show excessive desire for adult attention, overfriendliness with unfamiliar adults and peers, and few friendships


Sensitive caregiving

caregiving that involves prompt, consistent, and appropriate responses to infant signals
• This is moderately related to attachment security


Insecurely attached infants tend to have Moms who engage in…

- less physical contact,
- handle them in an awkward or ‘routine’ manner,
- are sometimes resentful and rejecting


Interactional synchrony

a form of communication in which the caregiver responds to infant signals in a well-timed, rhythmic, appropriate fashion and both partners match emotional states, especially positive ones

- Interactional synchrony with Mom increases Baby’s sensitivity to others’ emotional messages, and helps Baby to regulate his/her own emotions
- Moderate coordination is a better predictor of attachment security than is ‘tight’ coordination, suggesting that the opportunity to repair the occasional ‘mismatch’ may be valuable


Compare securely attached infants typical care to the other three styles

- Avoidant babies tend to receive overstimulating or intrusive care
- Resistant infants often experience inconsistent care
- Disorganized/disoriented infants are more likely to have experienced maltreatment, or to have mothers who are persistently depressed, experiencing very low marital satisfaction, or suffering from a traumatic event


How do mothers of Disorganized/disoriented babies act towards their child

These mothers sometimes show behaviours such as looking scared, mocking or teasing Baby, holding Baby stiffly at a distance, roughly pulling Baby by the arm, or seeking reassurance from an upset child


Infant Characteristics on Attachment Style

- We know that prematurity, birth complications, and newborn illness make caregiving more taxing
- Research indicates that emotionally reactive, difficult babies are more likely to develop later insecure attachment


List evidence that suggests that there a larger link between sensitive caregiving and attachment, rather than infant characteristic

- Attachment does not appear to be heritable
- Even siblings who are different in temperament often establish similar attachment patterns with their parents
- Interventions that teach parents to be more sensitive toward difficult-to-care-for infants tend to improve attachment security


Family Circumstances on attachment

- Marital difficulties, financial strain, and other stressors can interfere with parental sensitivity, and thus affect attachment
- If stressors alter the emotional climate of the family or disrupt familiar daily routines, they can affect Baby’s sense of security, even if parental sensitivity does not suffer
- Social support can be helpful in these situations, by reducing parental stress and improving the quality of parent-child communication


Parents’ Internal Working Models on attachment

- Parents who discuss their childhoods with objectivity and balance, whether their experiences were positive or negative, tend to be sensitive caregivers with securely attached infants
- Parents who dismiss the importance of early relationships or who describe their childhoods with anger and/or confusion, tend to be less sensitive and to have insecurely attached children


From Attachment to Peer Sociability

- By about age 2, toddlers can use words to talk about and influence one another’s behaviour
- Reciprocal play and positive emotion are particularly common in toddlers’ interactions with familiar agemates, suggesting early friendships
- This early peer sociability is promoted by early bonds with caregivers
- Infants with warm parental relationships engage in more extended peer exchanges
- This early peer sociability is promoted by early bonds with caregivers
- Infants with warm parental relationships engage in more extended peer exchanges


Family and attachment

Clear preference to mother when distressed declines over the second year.
When not distressed the approach and smile equally to both parents.
Mothers provide more talk toys and play social games. Fathers engage in highly stimulating play. This may help prepare them in emotional regulation.

Arrival of new baby can be difficult on preschool siblings – sharing – become demanding clingy, intention bad behavior, attachment security temp declined for children over 2.

Older siblings can show affection and concern and may be a comfort to an infant and they become attached. Tempernet is important factor in determining this relationship. Maternal warmth will cause better more supportive relationship between siblings. Explain the infant’s wants and needs helps cooperation. Maternal harshness or uninvolvment are liked to antagonistic sibling relationships.

Good marriages correlated with older sibling ability to adapt with jealousy and conflict.


Why do infants with warm parental relationships engage in more extended peer exchanges

- They have learned through interactions with their sensitive caregivers how to send and interpret emotional signals
- As preschoolers, they display more socially competent behaviours


Stroufe et al. have found that securely attached babies are more likely to

- Be higher in self-esteem, social skills, and empathy in preschool
- Have more favourable relationships with peers, closer friendships, and better social skills in middle childhood

Some researchers believe this indicates a causal relationship, with early secure attachment leading to improved cognitive, emotional, and social competence


In later development disorganized/disoriented attachment seems to be always related to

- Internalizing problems (fear and anxiety) in preschool and the school years
- Externalizing problems (anger and aggression) during preschool and school years
- Often, inappropriate role reversals, using either exaggerated comforting or hostility to try to control the parent’s behaviour


Secure infants __ ____ ______ develop more favourably than insecure infants

Do not always


Does early attachment security really cause the later outcomes?

One suggestion that seems likely is that we’re looking at continuity of caregiving


When children have a warm, positive parent-child bond, sustained over time, we tend to see

- A more confident and complex self-concept
- More advanced emotional understanding
- More favourable relationships with teachers and peers
- More effective social skills
- A stronger sense of moral responsibility
- Higher motivation to achieve in school



Infants already have some awareness at birth that they are physically distinct from their surroundings
- They do show early awareness of what is and is not a part of them, and what they can and cannot affect

In early months, they react differently to their own visual image than to other stimuli, often showing habituation to self

By 4 months, infants look and smile more at the video images of others than of themselves, indicating that they see others (but not the self) as potential social partners

By 18-24 months, infants show self-recognition in the rouge test

By age 2, they point to themselves in photos, and can use their names and personal pronouns

Near the end of the first year, infants start to learn that their goals can conflict with those of others

Soon afterward, they realize that they can be the focus of other people’s intentions and emotional messages
- So, they become increasingly sensitive to variations in caregivers’ emotional messages


Sensitive caregiving seems to promote development of self-awareness

Securely attached toddlers
- Display more complex self-related actions during play
- Show greater knowledge of their own and their parents’ physical features



the ability to understand another’s emotional state and respond emotionally in a similar way—”feeling with” that person

• Toddlers start to give to others what they themselves find comforting
• The capacity to try to take the perspective of another seems to depend on the emergence of self-awareness



- In the third year of life, children show increases in their ability to inhibit impulses, manage negative emotion, and behave in socially acceptable ways
- We see compliance emerging between 12 and 18 months
- Toddlers sometimes assert their autonomy by refusing to comply, but most toddlers comply most of the time
- Toddlers will often verbalize rules to themselves, likely in an attempt to help themselves comply
- Delay of gratification - Between 18 months and 3 years, children show increasing ability to wait before eating a treat, opening a gift, or playing with a toy
- Parental warmth and gentle encouragement is linked with higher cooperativeness and self-control in toddlers - This is especially the case for temperamentally difficult babies



voluntary obedience to adult requests and commands
- We see this emerging between 12 and 18 months


Delay of gratification

ability to wait for an appropriate time and place to engage in a tempting act
- Between 18 months and 3 years, children show increasing ability to wait before eating a treat, opening a gift, or playing with a toy
- Development of attention and language tend to do better because it helps them distract themselves
- Temperament and quality of care giving impact the development of delay of gratification
- Parents Models patient noncompulsive behavior


As self-control improvements, parents gradually add rules

- First rules usually involve prohibitions for the sake of safety
- Rules involving respect for property and people, family routines, manners, and chores, are added
- Parental guidance is still usually necessary during toddlerhood


Implicit sense of self-world differentiaon

Knowing the world and the self are separate. Seems present very early on.


Explicit self-awareness

Age 2
Sensitive care giving plays a role.
Securely attached infants and toddlers display more complex self-related actions during play. (doll as them) they also know their physical features better.



Age 2
Identification of self as a physically unique being
Point to themselves in pictures
Use personal pronouns (I or me)
They can start categorizing themselves at 18m to 30m (age, gender, characteristics, goodness/badness) they start engaging in gender typical play.


Body self-awareness

Realize their own body can serve as an obstacle


Scale errors

Attempting to do things that their body size makes impossible. It is persistent. Starts to improve around 2.


Distal vs proximal parenting style

Distal- independence
Proximal -interdependence


Effortful control

The extent to which a child can inhibit impulses, manage negative emotion and behave in socially acceptable ways.
They must have sense of self and knowledge (memory) of what is expected
12 to 18m


Consciencelike verbalization

Verbally resitting rules or correcting themselves


Helping toddlers develop compliance and self-control

Respond to the toddler with sensitivity and encouragement

Provide advanced notice when the toddler must stop and enjoyable activity

Offer many prompts and reminders

Respond to self-controlled behavior with verbal and physical approval

Encourage sustained attention

Support language development

Gradually increase rules in a manner consistent with the toddlers developing capacities