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What is a longitudinal study?

A study that is done over a long period of time on the same people in order to see the change over time.


Who conducted a longitudinal study on the development of attachments?

Schaffer and Emerson


Who were the participants in Schaffer and Emersons study?

60 infants from working class family homes in Glasgow.


How old were the infants at the start of the study?

5-23 weeks


For how long were the infants studied?

They were studied at monthly intervals during the first 18 months of their lives


What is a potential problem with self-report techniques?

It could cause bias


What was the method to Schaffer and Emersons experiment?

During each monthly visit, each mother reported their infant's response to separation in 7 everyday situations.
The mother was also asked to describe the intensity of the protest and to whom it was directed. Stranger anxiety was then measures by assessing the infants response to the interviewer.


What did Schaffer and Emersons discover?

That babies' attachments develop in a particular sequence. At 18 months of age it was found that 65% of infants had made the mother their primary attachment figure. Only 3% of the infants developed a primary attachment figure with their father. Lastly 31% of the infants had formed multiple attachments.


What were the results of Shaffer and Emersons study up to 3 months of age

Indiscriminate attachment. The newborn is predisposed to attach to any human.


What were the results of Shaffer and Emersons study up to 4 months of age

The infant starts to show a preference to certain people but will still accept care from anyone


What were the results of Shaffer and Emersons study up to 7 months of age

The infant shows a special preference for a single attachment figure. The infant will look to particular people for security, comfort and protection. They begin to show signs of separation and stranger anxiety. The infant has now successfully formed an attachment to one person.


What were the results of Shaffer and Emersons study up to 9 months of age

The infant begins to form multiple attachments and becomes increasingly independent.


What was the conclusion of Shaffer and Emersons study?

The study indicated that attachments were most likely to form with those who responded accurately to the infants signals, not the person that they spent the most time with. They called this sensitive responsiveness.


What are the 4 evaluations to Shaffer and Emerson's study?

Unreliable data
Biased sample
historical validity


Explain how and why 'unreliable data' is a weakness to this study

Shaffer and Emerson's study relied on the mothers to report the behavior of their infants (self-report technique). It is possible that some of the mothers may have been more or less sensitive to the infants protests and therefore more likely to report them. This would create a systematic bias in the results and therefore decease the internal validity of the results.


Explain how and why a 'biased sample' is a weakness to this study

The study did have a large sample size (60 babies). However, all the participants came from the same social background (working class families) and from the same area (Glasgow). This decreases the population validity of the study as it is hard to generalise the findings to other families of different backgrounds.


Explain how and why the 'historical validity' is a weakness to this study

The study was conducted over 50 years ago in 1964 and so the results of the study may not be as valid to modern day. For example back in 1964 it was much ,ore common for the mother to be the primary caregiver as most if the fathers went out to work. However, in modern day the number of fathers staying home to take care of their infant has quadrupled and therefore the likelihood of a father being the primary caregiver has increased. This therefore decreases the historical validity if the sample.


What did Jon Bowlby believe in regards to multiple attachments?

He believed that children have one primary attachment figure and all other attachments where secondary


What did Rutter believe in regards to multiple attachments?

Rutter believed that all attachments are equal and that all these attachments combine together to form the child's internal working model.


How do researchers describe the role of the father?

As more of a playmate than a caregiver as fathers tend to be more physical, unpredictable and exciting in their play than mothers. Fathers are less sensitive to their children. However, if the father becomes the main provider of care than they can quickly adopt this sensitivity.


What are the 4 important factors that effect the relationship between a Father and the infant?

The amount of sensitivity the father shows
The fathers type of attachment to his own parent
The intimacy the father has with his partner (marital intimacy)
The amount of support the father gives to his partner in helping to care for his children.


What did Geiger's study into the role of the father in regards to playfulness prove?

That fathers play interactions were more exciting and pleasurable than mothers, while mothers are more nurturing and affectionate. This supports the idea of fathers being playmates rather than caregivers.


What did Lamb's study into the role of the father in regards to playfulness prove?

Children preferred interacting with the father while in a positive emotional state and thus seeking stimulation. This suggests that fathers are preferred as playmates but only in certain conditions.


What did Hardy's study into the role of the father in regards to responsiveness prove?

That fathers are less able than ,others to detect low levels of distress in their infants than mothers, which suggests that males are less suitable as primary attachment figures.


What did Lamb study into the role of the father in regards to responsiveness prove?

Lamb found that fathers who become the main caregiver quickly become more sensitive to their infants. This suggests that sensitive responsiveness is not a biological ability limited to woman and so the key to attachment relationship is the level of responsiveness, not the gender of the parent.