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Attachments

Just to help me with my revision
by

Megan King

on 7 January 2013

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Transcript of Attachments

LEARNING THEORY
Operational Conditioning This theory suggests that the baby has to learn to form an attachment with his mother. The mother REWARDS the infant by FEEDING him so, the infant then ASSOCIATES the mother with the reward and REPEATS any action that brings her close to him.

This happens because food brings the baby a feeling of PLEASURE. Food is the PRIMARY REINFORCER. But, the food never comes without the MOTHER bringing it, so the mother becomes the SECONDARY REINFORCER. The baby will therefore repeat any action to bring the mother close as the presence of her reduces discomfort and brings a feeling of pleasure! Maccoby (1980): Maccoby identified 4 common characteristics which occur:

1) Seeking proximity (always wanting to be close to caregiver)

2) Distress on separation (cries when caregiver leaves)

3) Pleasure once reunited (signs of joy/ happiness when caregiver returns)

4) General orientation of behaviour towards the primary caregiver (always seeking attention from one main person so, they may follow them around or imitate them). ATTACHMENTS An attachment is a strong emotional tie that develops
over time between an infant and a primary caregiver.

It is a reciprocal - in the sense that it works both ways! LEARNING THEORY
Classical Conditioning This theory suggests that the baby forms an ASSOCIATION between the mother (NS) and the feeling of pleasure you get from being fed (UCR). At first the baby simply feels comforted by FOOD. However, the MOTHER is present too. He quickly associates the mother with the PLEASURE of being fed. Before long, the mother (CS) STIMULATES a feeling of pleasure on her own (CR), even without food. This means the baby feels comforted/ happier when the mother is close. EVALUATION OF THE LEARNING THEORY STRENGTHS:
- Schaffer & Emerson supports the learning theory as they found that strong attachments were formed with those who responded accurately to their signals.

WEAKNESSES:
- Harlow's research challenges this theory as he found from the use of monkeys, that children formed attachments to paretns that offer comfort and security rather than being fed.

-Schaffer & Emerson's research challenges the learning theory because the concluded that children form attachments with the person that plays and communicates the most with them, rather than the person who feeds them. BOWLBY'S ATTACHMENT THEORY ADAPTIVE - Attachment is adaptive because it increases the infants chance of survival.

SOCIAL RELEASERS - Babies have social releasers, these unlock the natural urgency to take care of it. Physical and Behavioural.

CRITICAL PERIOD - Attachment MUST be formed within the first 2 and a half years of the babies life. If they don't, it can cause damage the baby.

MONTROPY - One very specific attachment (usually the mother)

INTERNAL WORKING MODEL - Specific mental schemas for relationships in the future, based on monotropic attachment. EVALUATION OF BOWLBY'S EVOLUTIONARY THEORY CRITICAL PERIOD - Rutter found that the critical period could be 6 months rather than 2 and a half years. Children adopted after 6 months showed a disinhibited/ disorganised attachment type to those who were adopted before the period.

MONOTROPY - Schaffer and Emerson found that by 18 months, 87% had formed multiple attachments whereas, the other 13% still had monotropic attachments. They found that attachments are based on sensitive responsiveness - who they need the most.

INTERNAL WORKING MODEL - Hazen and Shaver's "Love Quiz" showed that there was a higher correlation between the infants attachment type and "love style". However, not every participant prooved this as people can change throughout their life. STRANGE SITUATION
Ainsworth & Bell (1978) Controlled observation using infants ages 12-18 months. Used a procedure of 3 minute episodes. Observation provides a measure of attachment by:

1) Seperation anxiety

2) Infant's willingness to exlore

3) Stranger Anxiety

4) Reunion behaviour

Found that TYPE C (insecure resistant) children were serously distressed when their parents left and were not easily soothed. Parent was also quite inconsistent. They could conclude from this that the greatest attachment type was TYPE B (secure). TYPE A - Insecure avoidant
TYPE B - Secure
TYPE C - Insecure resistant
TYPE D - Disorganised. EVALUATION OF STRANGE SITUATION This study lacks ecological validity because the children were not in their natural environment. This would affect their findings as a child may have behaved differently if they were at home compared to the experimental room.

The children may have reacted differently because they were in an unfamiliar environment and they could behave differently in different places.

The study appears to be reliable as she did it in a variety of countries and there was a consistency in the results which suggest a reliable measure! CROSS CULTURAL DIFFERENCES: RESEARCH FOUND SIMILARITIES:
Keller et al (1988) found that patterns of eye contact and conversation between infants were similar in 4 cultures.

DIFFERENCES:
Rabain-Jamin (1989) found a greater amount of conversation between French mothers and their children than between West African mothers and their children.

In COLLECTIVIST cultures -
There was an emphasis on a group effort and co-operation
Focused on interpersonal development of infants
Less anti-social behaviour
Favourable reaction to obedience and social behaviour

In INDIVIDUALIST cultures -
There was an emphasis on personal achievement
Focus on developing initiative in infants.
Mothers reacted favourably to independance
More anti-social behaviour. DISRUPTION OF ATTACHMENT Robertson and Robertson
Prolonged seperations were studied in the 30's and 40's and the children involved were often profoundly disturbed.
Wanted to increase the understanding of the effects this had on them and how they can be avoided.

PROTEST
DESPAIR
DETACHMENT

Case Study on John:
Residential nursery for 9 days as his mother was in hospital having a baby. Still had regular visits from his father.
Normal behaviour gradually changed as he couldn't compete with other children to get attention.
Instead he seeked comfort from a teddy bear.
During the course of the week, he started to break down, refusing food/drink, etc.
No constant care.
1st week = Happy to see his father, 2nd week = Little communication
When his mother came to take him home, he tried to get away from her PRIVATION AND DEPRIVATION When an infant has no opportunity to form attachments at all. When an infant makes an attachment and then it is broken. Research Evidence:
Genie - Supports Bowlby's theory (effects weren't reversible as there was too much damage done)
Czech Twins - Criticises Bowlby as they went on to lead normal lives, good attachments and had above average IQ's. Showing the effects are indeed reversible.
Hodges and Tizard - Criticises Bowlby's theory/ supports it as adopted children went on to form good attachments however, some children formed weak attachments and often none at all and they never really fully recovered in the long term. DEVELOPMENTAL EFFECTS OF PRIVATION Renee Spitz and Wolf investigated te effects of long term seperation and often found that children were disturbed and behind in intellectual development.

Attachment disorder -
No preferred attachment figure
Inability to interact and relate to others before the age of five
Experience of severe neglect/ frequent change of cargivers

Deprivation Dwarfism -
Gardiner (1972) studied an 8 month old girl who was born with malformation (fed from a tube). She was never cuddled out of fear of dislodging the tube. At 8 months old, she was withdrawn and physically stunted. With the right amount of attention she returned to normal. This suggested that emotional disturbances may affect the production of growth hormones.

Quinton (1984) found that ex-institutional woman were experiencing extreme difficulties acting as parents compared to 50 women at home and 50 women in an institution. EVALUATION POINTS Romanian orphan study a third of the children developed normal attachments. Privation alone doesn't explain why outcomes they faced occured.

Most research fails to look at adult life of the participants so, can we be so sure that the children didn't go on to form future attachments?

Some research on privation/ deprivation are case studies (like Genie). It is extremley difficult to replicate and generalise these studies! BOWLBY'S MATERNAL DEPRIVATION HYPOTHESIS (MDH) Hypothesis was based on studies conducted in the 30's/40's on children raised in orphanages and residential homes.
A lack of maternal care led to negative outcomes/ IQ's and on some occasions death.


Research evidence to look at (use class books) -
Goldfarb
Spitz
Bowlby's 44 Thieves
The effects of Divorce
Mothers in prison
Bulldogs bank study THE 4 ATTACHMENT TYPES TYPE A - AVOIDANT (Independance)

TYPE B - SECURE (Based on trust and security)

TYPE C - RESISTANT (confused - wants care giver but, resists attention)

TYPE D - DISORGANISED (Mixture of Type A and C, stumbling movements, craves attention, etc)
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