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

Research into the development of attachments Study by Schaffer and Emerson (1964)

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Research into the development of attachments Study by Schaffer and Emerson (1964) The topic of Schaffer and Emerson's research was to observe the development of attachments in infants. They were specifically interested in the age, intensity, and the objects of attachment and the issue of whether there were any individual differences. The research method of the study was conducted by interviewing the children's mothers at every visit. The experimental design of the research was carried out by naturalistic observation. The materials that were used were prams, cots, and chairs. The participants consisted of a sample of sixty infants from working-class homes in Glasgow. The infants were observed every four weeks until they were one year old, and then again at eighteen months. At the start of the investigation, the youngest participant was five weeks and the oldest was twenty-three weeks. All the infants were living at home with both parents; they all had normal births, no major illnesses, and no signs of abnormality. ...read more.

Middle

Age of onset-Half of the children showed their first specific attachment between 25 and 32 weeks (6-8 months). Four of the children were slightly younger and six of the children were older than 11 months. Fear of strangers occurred approximately a month later in all children. 2. Intensity-This rose in the first month after attachment behaviour first appeared. It was measured by the strength of separation protest. However, there were large individual differences. Intensely attached infants had mothers who responded quickly to their demands and who offered the child the most interaction. Infants who were weakly attached had mothers who failed to interact. 3. Objects of attachment-After one main attachment was formed, the infants also became attached to other people. By 18 months, 13% were attached to only one person and 31% had five or more attachments, such as the father, grandparent, or older sibling. In 65% of the children, the first attachment was to the mother. ...read more.

Conclusion

In turn, the child would be more confident and would explore the environment. Whereas a child with a weak attachment would be less confident and lees likely to explore the environment. A criticism that has been made of this study is that the idea of stages suggests that early development is 'fixed'- that children automatically go through particular stages, in fact, development is more fluid than this. Although most children do appear to follow this general path of development, the age at which they do varies more than the model suggests. Another criticism of this study is that there are important differences between infants in terms of their attachment behaviour. Some may become more securely attached than others. These criticisms are valid as they are seen as flaws in the study. They are valid strongly as they show not every child forms an attachment with their mother in the same way and they certainly do not follow strict stages as every infant is different and their interaction with their mother is different. Hema Pindolia 16/09/04 ...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

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. counselling stages of attachement

    * He interviewed the mother and childminders. * He also observed the children with both their mothers and childminders. Findings - * Bryant found that the children were not given a great deal of attention by the minders. * The minders felt it was their responsibility to ensure the children were physically cared for, rather than stimulated or encouraged cognitively.

  2. Outline the phases of attachment by Schaffer and Emerson

    Schaffer and Emerson used separation protest as an indicator that attachment has occurred, as a way of identifying the main attachment figure, and as a way of measuring the strength of attachment.

  1. The development of attachment can be described in 4 stages proposed by Schaffer and ...

    Israeli infants were looked after by different adults not part of the family but still had a close attachment to their mothers. This explains the low percentage of infants found to be anxious and avoidant. Japanese infants are constantly with their mothers and hardly ever with strangers, however both Israeli and Japanese infants showed similar styles of attachment.

  2. Investigate the stages that infants go through when developing attachments.

    Weaknesses - Over Generalised Stages - individual differences in how attachments are made make the stages too general to show reality. Also may only reflect western culture as it was only carried out in Glasgow. Contradicting recent research - Bushnell's (1989)

  1. Attachment and Separation.

    This paper raised quite a storm at the Psychoanalytic Society. Even Bowlby's own analyst, Joan Riviere protested and Donald Winnicott wrote to thank her: "It was certainly a difficult paper to appreciate without giving away everything that has been fought for by Freud".

  2. Infant's Attachments

    and, when she returns, may ignore her by looking or turning away" (Kail). "Babies with avoidant attachments are covertly anxious about the attachment figure's responsiveness and have developed a defensive strategy for managing their anxiety. Upon the attachment figure's return after the same moderately stressful events, these avoidant babies show

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