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Investigate the stages that infants go through when developing attachments.

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Introduction

Attachment Unit 2 Short term effects - Teaches the child how to form good relationships, gives the child a 'safe base' to retreat to if scared (comfort for the to have a safe trusting adult) Long term effects - Later on in life it can reflect on how well a child can construct lasting/trusting relationships. Stages in the development of attachment Stage 1 0-2 months Pre-attachment stage Soon after birth, babies shown a preference for human faces, can also distinguish mothers voice from others after a few days. Most infants in these stages enjoy being with people. Happy to be with anyone, do not protest when parent goes away so long as there is someone to interact with. They do not show anxiety towards strangers. Stage 2 2-6 months Sociability stage - sociability refers to the willingness shown by infants to engage in social interaction. Stage 3 6 months onwards Attachment Stage Most infants begin to attach to one person at 6/7 months. Happy with this one person, sad when separated. Show anxiety towards strangers. Stage 4 8 months onwards Multiple attachment stage Most infants begin to develop a number of attachments from 8 months. May remain close to their main attachment figure. Schaffer and Emerson (1964) Aim - To investigate the stages that infants go through when developing attachments. Procedure - * Over an 18 month period they observed 60 infants from a working class area of Glasgow. The mothers were also interviewed. * The babies were observed every 4 weeks until they were a year old, then again at 18 months. (making it a longitudinal study) * Attachment was measured in two ways - Seperation protest - the baby was left alone in a room, or outside the house in their pram. Stranger anxiety - a stranger approached the baby. If the baby protested or showed anxiety, then it was assumed an attachment had been formed. ...read more.

Middle

He also believed that these effects would be permanent and irreversible. Bowlby's theory was first put forward in the 1950's and at that time his ideas were very revolutionary. People generally felt that so long as you looked after the physical care of a child then all would be well. They did not think that emotional care was as important. Bowlby based his theory on his research study of '44 juvenile thieves' and also referred to a study by Goldfarb (1947) to support his ideas. Goldfarb compared a group of infants from a poor orphanage, who were fostered after a few months, with another group of infants from the same orphanage, who were fostered after three years. They were tested up to the age of 12. He found that the infants fostered aged three rather than at a few months did less well on IQ tests, and they were less socially mature, being more aggressive. Strengths - * Even thought there are problems with Bowlby's theory, he had an enormous impact on the care of children. He was the first person to point out that looking after a child's physical needs is not the only important thing, and that the emotional needs are as important. * Some support for Bowlby comes from recent research into reactive attachment disorder. This is a serious psychological illness which some children experience which is thought to be due to disruptions in the attachment process. However it is probably only a relatively small number of children who suffer from RAD and it may be they have a difficult temperament as well as disruption in attachments. Weaknesses - * More recent research rejects his idea that it is inevitable that maternal deprivation will lead to serious problems later in life. * Studies on which Bowlby based his ideas were largely of children in institutions, eg Goldfarb. There children would have had faced lots of difficulties of which the lack of their mother was only one. ...read more.

Conclusion

compared Ugandan mothers with American mothers. Ugandan mothers and children have a great deal of physical contact - * the infants are carried by their mothers everywhere in slings * they sleep with their mothers * typically breast feed for 2 years. This greater amount of contact results in more anxiety on separation and earlier fear of strangers than American babies. These babies seem to attach earlier than babies in the western world. Israel Kibbutzim mothers (communes) stay with their newborn babies for a few weeks then slowly return to fulltime work. By about 1 a child will be cared for by a nurse (called a metapelet) in the childrens house. Children return to their parents at the end of the working day. They have high quality day care and good quality time with their parents. Such children seem to have multiple attachments to a number of carers, but their strongest attachment is still with their parents. Day Care Research Evaluation Strengths - * It has practical applications. Research findings suggest that what is important is the quality of day-care, so government inspectors now visit all day care places to ensure they are at a high standard. * Research suggests that day care is particularly valuable for children from deprived homes. This suggests that research has helped us to realise the way in which we can give deprived children a head start s they are not so disadvantaged when they start school. Weaknesses - * It is difficult to generalise the results of research into day-care because the effects depend on factors other than just whether the child is in day care or not. * There are a number of problems with the methodology involved in some of the studies of day-care. * Day care studies have been done in a number of different countries, e.g. Sweden, Canada, USA, GB. Different countries have different methods or style of day-care which could make the studies unfair when comparing the countries to one another or using the results gathered. An example is in Sweden the government subsidises day care, so it is of high quality. ...read more.

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