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Attachment SAQs

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Introduction

24th September 2004 Attachment SAQs 1. Explain what is meant by the terms: 'Secure attachment' Associated with healthy emotional and social development. Securely attached infants: * Feel content to explore a strange environment * Show Some distress when caregiver leaves them * Show joy at reunion with caregiver 'Insecure attachment' There are two types of insecure attachment: Resistant-insecure and avoidant-insecure, both show disturbed behaviour during separation and reunion. Resistant-insecure: * Distressed on separation * Resist reunion with caregiver Avoidant-insecure: * Indifferent at separation with mother * Avoid contact on reunion 2. Describe the findings of two studies that have investigated cross-cultural differences in attachment. Takahashi (1990) replicated Ainsworth's strange situation technique in Japan with the aim of investigating cross-cultural differences in attachment. Takahashi wanted to know if the results Ainsworth found in the USA were the same in Japan, thus showing if there was a cultural difference. Takahashi found that 70 per cent of Japanese children were securely attached, replicating Ainsworth's findings. However, compared with Ainsworth's findings that 22 per cent of infants were Avoident-insecure, and a further 12 per cent Resistant-insecure, Takahshi found that no infants were classified as avoidant-insecure and 31 per cent were classified as resistant-secure. ...read more.

Middle

The SST indicates child's ability to form future relationships, seemingly accessing the internal working model. Scroufe found that securely attached children were rated more popular by their peers and that self-confidence, self-esteem and social competence were higher. The SST therefore has given very valuable insight into the effect that attachment has on future relationships. Ijzendoorn found a strong correlation between child's attachment type and the Primary care giver's (PCG) with their own PCG. This conclusion has led to some parents being trained in how to form a secure relationship's with their own children, thus stopping history repeating itself. The strange situation therefore has a practical application. i.e. treating the cause before the effects. The SST has been criticised by people raising ethical issues of potential damage to participants, however it can be argued that the practical applications far outweigh the distress caused by a 15 minute experiment. The SST has been criticised for being unable to identify cause and effect of attachment type and for putting too much enthesis on Mother's sensitivity as the cause for attachment type while ignoring other factors. ...read more.

Conclusion

Takahashi's study (taken in Japan) suggests that a higher proportion of insecurely attached infants are resistance rather than avoidant. However, the results found in Japan can be seen to be influenced by the difference in child rearing practises in the Japanese culture. Japanese children became overly distressed when left by their mother. Japanese mothers rarely leave their children so the situation was too strange for the infant, hence the distress show. Similarly, Grosseman, brought the SST to Germany and found as oppose to Japanese infants, there were more avoidant attatchments in German children. Again, this can be explained by the different child-rearing culture, German children are far more used to being left alone and therefore will show less anxiety where as the SST would say this lack of anxiety was due to an insecure attachment. The SST has not only been criticised for not taking into account major influences such as culture and class but also for ignoring past experiences children will have had with care givers, for example children who had experienced regular day-care are likely to react differently to those who had not. SIOBHAN SMITH. MR. GRAHAM ...read more.

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