What is ‘emerging adulthood’?
The transition from adolescence to adulthood
It occurs between the age of 18 and 25
How is the emerging adulthood stage prolonged?
What happens to the parent-child relationship during the emerging adulthood stage?
the relationship is re-evaluated as the child develops their own autonomy
they switch from the role of a dependent to a fellow adult
Who proposed the emerging adulthood theory? What are the 5 stages?
- age of identity exploration
- age of instability
- age of self-focus
- age of feeling in between
- age of possibilities
What happens during the age of identity exploration?
Young people decide who they are, what they want out of work, school and love
What happens during the age of instability?
Young people will go to university or live with friends or partners
There are lots of frequent residence changes in the post-high school years
What happens during the age of self-focus?
Young people start to decide what they want to do, where they want to go and who they want to be with
They are freed of a parent and society-directed routine and make the most of this time before their choices are limited
What happens during the age of feeling in between?
Many say they are taking responsibility for themselves, but do not yet feel like an adult
What happens during the age of possibilities?
There is a notable sense of optimism
Many young people believe they have chances of living better than their parents did
Who derived the attachment theory?
What does John Bowlby’s attachment theory state?
Early life experiences strongly influence late adult functioning and vulnerability to psychopathology (mental health)
What did Bowlby believe about evolution?
Children came into the world biologically pre-programmed to form attachments with others as it would help them survive
What is the role of the primary caregiver?
An adult person who provides safety and security for the infant
They are critical to personal development
What are the types of attachment in Bowlby’s model?
What is secure attachment classified by?
Children who show some distress when their caregiver leaves, but will able to compose themselves knowing that the caregiver will return
What are 2 features shown by children with secure attachment?
1 - positive internal working models
2 - emotion regulation ability
What is meant by positive internal working models and what does it promote?
The child builds up a positive view of themselves and their self in relation to others
Promotes social competence, especially around peers
What is meant by emotion regulation ability?
What does it promote?
Children have the ability to recognise emotional expressions of others, and express these themselves
They can manage and avoid anxiety and effectively deal with stress
What 2 factors usually prevent a secure attachment from developing?
1 - separation during childhood
2 - lack of early secure attachment
What are the 4 stages of attachment development and at what age do they occur?
0 - 2 months - pre-attachment
2-7 months - attachment-in-the-making
7 - 24 months - clear-cut attachment
24 months + - goal-corrected partnership
What 2 key features does a securely attached child exhibit and at what age?
10 months - stranger anxiety
12 months - separation distress
What happens during the pre-attachment stage?
Children are able to mirror expression
There are feeding interactions between the mother and child
What is the end result of developing an attachment?
It results in a child developing self-concept and leaving
What are the 4 stages that lead up to an attached child leaving?
- mutual responsiveness
- attachment grows
- exploration grows
- autonomy grows
What is ethology?
The study of animal behaviour in the context of understanding human behaviour
What was Harlow’s experiment?
Infant monkeys who had no mother were presented with 2 surrogate mothers with 2 different features to see which one the infants preferred
What was the aim of Harlow’s experiment?
To identify what desirable characteristics the infant monkeys looked for in a maternal figure
What was the essential characteristic identified from Harlow’s experiment?
Contact comfort - the ability to cling on and cuddle
What are the 4 characteristics that define attachments in young children?
- they are selective
- they involve physical proximity seeking
- they provide comfort and security
- they produce separation distress
What is the secure base?
A child will pick one specific adult as their secure base
They act as a base of security from which the child can explore the surrounding environment
What is physical proximity seeking?
The desire to be close to the people we are attachde to
What is Ainsworth’s strange situation?
- infant and mother are in a room
- a stranger will enter and interact with the infant and the mother will leave
- the mother returns and the stranger leaves
- the infant is left alone
- the stranger returns
- the mother returns and the stranger leaves
What is Ainsworth’s strange situation used for?
It is used to determine attachment status
How many stages are there in Ainsworth’s strange situation?
Who is it used on?
7 stages, each lasts for 3 minutes
Involves watching the behaviour of a child aged from 12 months to 3 years
How will a child with secure attachment react to Ainsworth’s strange situation?
They stay close to the mother and are upset when she leaves
They greet the mother positively
What behaviour of the caregiver allows the child to develop secure attachment?
The caregiver is sensitive to their signals and responds to their needs
Why is separation anxiety a normal feature of secure attachment?
The child feels confident that the primary caregiver will return
They use them as a secure base to explore the environment
How will a child with insecure avoidant attachment respond to Ainsworth’s strange situation?
They avoid contact with the mother when she returns
They exhibit no distress when left with a stranger
In insecure avoidant attachment, what is the relationship between the child and the caregiver?
They do not orientate to them when exploring an environment
They are physically and emotionally independent of them
They do not seek contact with them when distressed
What are the likely properties of a caregiver who has a child with insecure avoidant attachment?
They are insensitive or rejecting of the child’s needs
How will a child with insecure resistant attachment respond to Ainsworth’s strange situation?
They are very upset by the mother leaving
They are difficult to console when the mother returns as they both seek comfort and resist
What is the key feature of insecure resistant attachment?
The child exhibits clingy and dependent behaviour but is rejecting of the attachment figure when they engage in interaction
In insecure resistant attachment, how does the child interact with the attachment figure?
They do not develop feelings of security from the attachment figure
They exhibit difficulty moving away to explore novel surroundings
They are difficult to soothe and are not comforted by interaction with the attachment figure
How does the behaviour of the caregiver lead to insecure resistant attachment?
There is an inconsistent level of response to the child’s needs from the primary caregiver
What is disorganised attachment?
child’s behaviour is not stable in terms of pattern
How does the primary caregiver’s behaviour lead to disorganised attachment?
The parent’s response to the child has different outcomes, depending on the child’s working model of itself
What are the 2 key features of a primary caregiver’s behaviour?
- caregiver sensitivity
What is meant by caregiver sensitivity?
the ability of the caregiver to perceive and interpret signals from the infant’s behaviour and respond effectively
How is caregiver sensitivity measured?
On a 9 point scale - from highly insensitive to highly sensitive
What is meant by mind-mindedness?
The caregiver’s tendency to treat their child as an individual with their own mind
What is the benefit of a caregiver showing mind-mindedness?
It allows the caregiver to assess what the child may be thinking or feeling, and respond accordingly
What are the two types of behavioural responses exhibited by a caregiver?
appropriate or non-attuned
What is meant by non-attuned behaviour?
the caregiver’s behaviour is not responsive to the needs of the infant
How is attachment assessed in a clinical situation?
adult attachment interview
Why can an adult attachment interview be unreliable?
A current depression is not definitively a result of attachment history
An adult’s view of their attachment history may present to be more negative than it actually was
What are longitudinal studies?
Children are followed into adulthood
Why is attachment not a personality trait?
It is a reflection of being sufficiently parented
Everyone has an attachment status, even those who has insecure attachment
What are the resulting adult characteristics of secure attachment?
comfortable in relationships and able to seek support from partner
What are the resulting adult characteristics of insecure avoidant attachment?
they have a greater sense of autonomy and tend to cut themselves off emotionally from their partner
What are the resulting adult characteristics of insecure resistant attachment?
they fear rejection from their partner and have a strong desire to maintain closeness
What is significant about the first attachment a child ever makes?
This forms an attachment template by which future relationships are constructed
What is prevention potential and what does it involve?
It is an intervention to try and develop secure attachment
It involves parenting interventions and sure start centres