Stages of attachment development Flashcards Preview

A-level psychology (A) > Stages of attachment development > Flashcards

Flashcards in Stages of attachment development Deck (17):

What is the first stage of attachment?

Pre-attachment phase (birth to three month)


What happens in the pre-attachment phase?

From six weeks of age, infants become attracted to other humans, preferring them to objects and events. This preference is demonstrated by their smiling at people's faces


What is the second stage of attachment?

Indiscriminate attachment phase (3-7/8 months)


What happens in the indiscriminate attachment phase?

Infants begin to discriminate between familiar and unfamiliar people, smiling more at known people, though they will still allow strangers to handle and look after them


What is the third stage of attachment?

Discriminate attachment phase (7/8 months)


What happens in the discriminate attachment phase?

Infants begin to develop specific attachments, staying close to particular people and becoming distressed when separated from them. They avoid unfamiliar people and protest if strangers try to handle them.


What is the fourth attachment phase?

Multiple attachment phase (9 months onwards)


What happens in the multiple attachment phase?

Infants form strong emotional ties with other major caregivers, like grandparents and non-caregivers like other children. The fear of strangers weakens but attachment to mother figure remains strongest.


What study supports stages of attachment?

The development of social attachments in infancy. Schaffer and Emerson (1964)


What were the aims of Schaffer and Emerson's study?

To assess whether there ids a pattern of attachment formation that was common to all infants
To identify and describe the distinct stages by which attachments form


Why was the study important?

The researchers, realising that attachments weren't formed at birth were interested in documenting the process of how attachments were formed


What was the procedure of Schaffer and Emerson's study?

A longitudinal study was conducted on 60 newborn babies and their mothers from a working class area of Glasgow. Mothers and babies were studies each month for the first year of their lives in their own homes and again at 18 months. Observations were conducted as well as interviews with the mothers, with questions being asked about whom infants smiled at. whom they responded to, whom caused them distress etc


In what two ways was attachment measured?

Separation protest (assessed through everyday situations; the infant being left alone in a room, left alone with others,left in the pram outside the house/shops, left in a cot at night, being put down after being held and being passed by while sitting in a chair/cot)
Stranger anxiety (assessed by the researcher starting each home visit by approaching the infant to see if this distressed the child.


What were the findings of Schaffer and Emerson's study?

Most infants started to show separation protest when parted from their attachment figure at between 6-8 months,with stranger anxiety being shown around one month later.
Strongly attached infants had mothers who responded to their needs quickly and gave more opportunities for interaction. Weakly attached infants had mothers who responded less quickly and gave fewer opportunities for interaction
Most infants went on to develop multiple attachments. At 18 months, 87% had at least 2 attachments with 31% having five or more attachments
Attachments to different people were of a similar nature, with infants behaving in the same way to different attachment figures
39% of infant's prime attachment was not to the main caregiver


What conclusions could be drawn from Schaffer and Emerson's study?

There is a pattern of attachment formation common to all infants, suggesting the process is biologically controlled
Attachments are more easily made with those who display sensitive responsiveness, recognising and responding appropriately top an infant's needs, rather than those spending the most time with a child
Multiple attachments are the norm and of a similar quality, which opposes Bowlby's idea that attachments are a hierarchy of one prime attachment and other minor ones. Schaffer commented that there is nothing to suggest that mothering cant be shared by several people


What is the evaluation of the Schaffer and Emerson study?

Data collection by direct observation or from the mothers, with both sources prone to bias and inaccuracy
The study has mundane realism as it was conducted under everyday conditions, meaning conclusions drawn about the formation of attachments can be seen as having high validity
There were large individual differences in when attachments formed, casting doubts on the process of attachment formation being exclusively biological in nature
The study was a longitudinal study which was its own strengths and weaknesses (see RM)


What other research can the Schaffer and Emerson study be linked to?

Carpenter (1975) presented infants with familiar and unfamiliar voices and faces. Sometimes face ad voice would be of the same person and sometimes not. He found that two week old babies looked at a face longest when it was the mother's accompanied by her voice and were distressed by the sight of her face accompanied by a different voice. This suggests that babies can recognise and are attracted to their mothers from an early age,k contradiction Schaffer and Emerson's claims that initially babies were attracted to any people interacting with them
Also, about multiple attachments, see Bowlby