• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Consider what psychological research has shown us about cross-cultural variations in attachment

Extracts from this document...


13th September 2005 Louise Collins Consider what psychological research has shown us about cross-cultural variations in attachment Researchers in many different countries have used the Strange Situation to investigate secure and insecure attachment. The results of 32 such studies undertaken in eight different countries have been summarised by Van Ijzendoorn and Kroonenberg (1988). Bee (1999) points out that the most striking finding is that there is considerable consistency across cultures, and concludes that it is likely that the same caregiver-infant interactions contribute to secure and insecure attachments in all cultures. However, fours countries stand out in this research as having a larger than average proportion of insecurely attached children: Japan, Israel, Germany and China. In the study cited in Van Ijzendoorn and Kroonenburg's research, 25% of Japanese children were insecure resistant in their attachment organisation. Takahashi challenged these findings and set up a study to consider whether it is appropriate to use the Strange Situation procedure with Japanese children. ...read more.


The first being the way in which the infants responded to separation and being left alone. This maybe due to the fact that Japanese infants experience much less separation, they generally sleep with their parents until over 2 years of age, are carried around on their mothers' backs and bathe with their parents. As a result, Japanese children are rarely left alone. This means that for Japanese children, the Strange Situation was more than mildly stressful, they were suffering extreme stress - this was not the original aim of the Strange Situation. Secondly, Japanese infants shoed a total lack of avoidant behaviour in this sample; this is another cultural factor. Japanese children are taught that such behaviour is impolite and are actively discouraged from displaying it. This means that the strange Situation does not have the same meaning for Japanese children as it does for American participants and is therefore, not a valid assessment of that culture, Takahashi proved this. ...read more.


Some of the behaviour shown in the Strange Situation which is supposed to indicate secure attachment was seen by German parents as evidence e of 'clingy' and 'spoilt' behaviour. As a result of the norms and values directed at childrearing in Germany, a high proportion of attachments were classified as insecure-avoidant. Finally, cross-cultural studies have found a relationship between secure attachment and later adjustment. For example, in a study of Israeli infants, Sagi (1990) found that securely attached infants were later rated as having better social skills. This supports that secure attachment is important in all cultures for healthy psychological development. Thus it follows that it is unlikely that any thriving culture would have such high proportions of insecurely attached children. In view of this and the evidence cited above it would appear that the Strange Situation may be a culturally specific way of assessing security of attachment and it is this which is responsible for cultural variations in the proportion of children in each attachment category. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Developmental Psychology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

3 star(s)


This essay covers the the topic in some detail showing an understanding of the subject. However, the latter part of the essay is a bit thin on the ground and possibly rushed. The writer clearly understands what cultural variation means and has produced evidence to explain some of the cross cultural variations. However, a little more time should have been spent on the differences with Israeli children since many are brought up in collectives, with many care givers.

The essay needs a bit more structure and a better introduction and conclusion. However, the writer has summarised most of the research well and if the latter part was improved upon this essay would be marked far higher.

Star rating

3 *

Marked by teacher Linda Penn 01/05/2013

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Developmental Psychology essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Bowlby's Attachment Theory

    4 star(s)

    Three landmark studies conducted in the 1950s supported his views. In 1946, Bowlby looked at the life histories of eighty-eight children who had been referred to his psychiatric clinic, half of whom had a criminal record for theft. Fourteen of the 'thieves' displayed an 'affectionless' character, that is, a lack of normal affection, shame or sense of responsibility.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Should mothers stay at home to raise their children?

    Within this, they are clearly respected, for wanting to bring up their children, the best that they possibly can. As motherhood is thought to be the most important role for women, those who do not have children will more than likely suffer from prejudice.

  1. Critically discuss the implications of attachment theory for different forms of childcare

    For example, children from Japan showed intense distress in the strange situation when separated from their mother, as in their culture children are never left alone at twelve months. These cultural differences highlight the importance of moving away from a universal model of attachment towards a more cultural perspective.

  2. Physical, Social and Emotional Development of Children.

    the child's concept of itself, and the ability to form and maintain social and emotional relationships in later life. The work of John Bowlby has greatly influenced social care policy, childcare practices and research into early relationships. It was after World War II, he was asked to "investigate the effects on children's development of being brought up in orphanages.

  1. In Britain today, most people live in nuclear families - The aim of this ...

    He also believes that they should be educated in religion and that it is the parents' duty to do so, so they can "grow up to know and love God." But some families whose parents are "fulfilling their responsibilities" may not be religious and still bring up their children well.

  2. How does watching television influence the behaviours and cognitions of young children?

    This obviously has massive implications for the child's future academic development, and shows how the viewing of television from an early age can effect an individual throughout their whole life. If a child develops attention problems from an early age, they therefore will struggle more at school, and be less

  1. Nature VS nurture - Issues, perspectives and debates in psychology.

    Which in turn can be linked to the ideas of the learning approach. It's suggested that children learn attachment behaviour through classical conditioning. The child learns to pair receiving what it desires with showing attachment behaviours such as crying, reaching out and smiling.

  2. Factors that Affect Growth and Development.

    parenting and friendships, also affect personality. One of the main differences is that Erikson felt that the stages of development were linked to cognitive and social development rather than led by physical needs. It is interesting to see that Erikson also believed that our personality kept on developing into adulthood.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work