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Developmental Psychology - Attachments in Developments

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. Part 2 - Developmental Psychology Attachments in Developments Developmental psychology is concerned with how our cognitions, emotions and behaviour change as we grow with age and experience. Babies, only a few months old develop close bonds called attachment bonds with some people in particular. These people are able to settle the child, if upset, more easily than others and the baby will become upset if separated from the attachment object for too long. There has been a big debate in psychology over the precise role the mother figure takes in child development generally and especially the emotional development. Topic 4 - The Development and Variety of Attachments Attachments are emotional bonds that are formed with people very close to us. For babies and young people these attachments are formed with the people who look after them, usually their parents that prove very important to them. As we grow up our attachment objects usually change and may include boyfriends and girlfriends. ...read more.


This is known as the "Westermarck effect" and there is evidence to support this. Shepher (1971) found that not one of 3000 Israeli marriage records he studied was between individuals who had been raised together on the same kibbutz, a kind of communal farming community found in Israel. Stages in the Development of Attachment Schaffer and Emerson conducted a classic study of the development of attachment in 60 Glaswegian children. They used "separation anxiety" - the distress shown by the infants when separated by their main caregiver and "stranger anxiety" - very young infants show no sign of anxiety when they are left with a stranger but at a certain age this starts which is viewed as the onset of attachment, as a measure of attachment. The following is the conclusions they were able to draw from the study. * Fifty percent of the babies made their first attachment between the age of 6 - 8 months - 65 percent with the mother and a further 30 percent with the mother and someone else. ...read more.


Children who behave in an avoidant way are difficult to upset and ambivalent infants are easy to stress. Secure infants are somewhere between these two. Research has shown that newborns that are less likely to attend to people and objects are more likely to develop insecure attachments at later ages and that newborns who showed signs of behavioural instability e.g. shaking were less likely to become securely attached to their mother. Cross-Cultural Variations in Secure and Insecure Attachments In the same way that there are differences in attachment behaviour between individuals there is also differences in from one culture to another. Secure attachment is important in all cultures and the concept of an internal working model being universal has become a widely accepted view. Researchers in many different countries have used the Strange Situation to investigate secure and insecure attachment. There is considerable consistency in the results across cultures that show there is a relationship between mother - infant interaction and secure attachment. This suggests that there is a biological or genetic basis for attachment formation. ...read more.

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