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)
Loading flashcards...

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