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Attachments In Development

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Introduction

DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY Mos Albayaty - LKP Psychology - Ivan ATTACHMENTS IN DEVELOPMENT 1. What is meant by the terms 'Secure attachments' and 'Insecure attachments'? (6marks) The term 'secure attachments' is where the infant stays close to the caregiver and is distressed by their departure but easily comforted on return. Here, a stranger could give limited comfort to the infant. Approximately 70% of all infants are securely attached to their caregiver. The term 'insecure attachments' is subdivided into two types of attachments: the 'insecure-avoidant' and the 'insecure-resistant'. The insecure-avoidant infants are indifferent to their caregiver - they are unconcerned if the caregiver is present or absent. They show signs of distress when left alone but could be comforted by either a caregiver or stranger. Here, the percentage of infants that are the insecure avoidant is 20%. The other type, the insecure resistant is where the infant is ambivalent (stressed, showing conflicting attitudes/ feelings) to the caregiver - both being close and resistant at times. Also, the infants here are anxious of the environment/ surroundings around them and resistant to strangers. ...read more.

Middle

Bowlby's views on monotropy have been criticised. For example, infants and young children display a whole range of attachment behaviours (sucking, cuddling, looking, smiling, and crying) towards a variety of attachment figures other than the mother (i.e. brother, sister), that is, the mother is not special in the way the infant shows its attachment to her, Rutter, 1981. Another piece of criticism is that although Bowlby did not deny that children form multiple attachments, he saw attachment to the mother as being unique: it is the first to develop and is the strongest of all. However, Schaffer and Emerson's 1964 study showed that multiple attachments seem to be the rule rather than the exception. They concluded that, -At 7 months, 29% of infants had already formed several attachments simultaneously, -At 10 months, 59% had developed ore than one attachment, -By 18 months, 87% had done so. 4. "One problem with any theory of attachment is that it suggests that all children develop in similar ways all over the world". To what extent do cross-cultural variations affect the development of attachment? ...read more.

Conclusion

This shows that cross-cultural variations exist and do affect the development of attachment. Vaughn et al, 1980, showed that attachment type mat change depending on variations in the family's circumstances. Children of single parents living in poverty countries were studied at 12 and 18 months. Significantly, 38% were classified differently on the two occasions, reflecting changes in the families' circumstances, particularly changes in accommodation and the mothers' degree of stress. This suggests that attachment types are not necessarily permanent characteristics. This also shows that cross-cultural variations exist in affecting the development of attachment. However, a study carried out by Tronic et al, 1992, shows that cross-culture variations do not affect the development of attachment. This study recorded observations of an African tribe in Zaire, the Efe, who lived in extended family groups. The infants were looked after and even breast-fed by different women, but usually they slept with their own mother at night. Despite contact with many different caregivers, the infants still, by the age of 6 months, did show one primary attachment. This not only shows that cross-culture variations do not affect the development of attachment, but also supports Bowlby's concept of monotropy, as explained earlier. ...read more.

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