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Some recent research suggests that child-care in infancy threatens attachment security and later emotional adjustment. Discuss.

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1 Some recent research suggests that child-care in infancy threatens attachment security and later emotional adjustment. Discuss. Infant attachment can be defined as the formation and bonding of a relationship between caregiver and child. Although this bonding is initiated throughout the onset of pregnancy between mother and child, the growth of primary attachments do not develop until the child is born. Maccoby (1980) suggested that a child would exhibit attachment behaviour via four ways: (1) aged 8-9 month, baby seeks proximity of the caregiver, and when separated for a given time they would return to the individual; (2) babies show stress whilst separated from caregiver; (3) often pleased when reunited; (4) in certain behavioural circumstances they would periodically seek their caregivers approval and reassurance (Butterworth, 1998 p. 107.) During this essay one will discuss the important issues that can affect a child's emotional development. Firstly, one would take into account the some of the theoretical explanations of the importance of attachment analyzing the psychoanalytical, and learning perspectives from the past. Then we will look at recent research that has been carried out on children, to see whether the lack of attachment can determine our emotional behaviour in later life. ...read more.


Bowlby therefore, began to recognize that Lorenz's (1935) work on rearing goslings had significant importance. As the ethological explanation of the 'critical period' recognizes that a child or animal can be made vunerable at a certain stage of their development (Flanagan, 2002 pp. 40-41.) Although evidence suggests that children and animals are predisposed to critical periods earlier on in their development other theorists would argue otherwise. Ainsworth (1967) an eminent anthropologist argued that many cultural societies rely on more that than one caregiver to bring up their children. She noted that the majority of infants in the Ganda tribe Uganda formed multiple attachments with several of the adults whom had cared for them during infancy (Flanagan, 2002 p. 43.) Both Shaffer and Emerson (1964) supported Ainsworth's explanation of multiple attachment processes as they discovered that an infant forms 'multiple attachments' by the (4) phase of their emotional development model. Moreover, they initiated that phase (1) asocial stage 0-6 weeks infants will respond to interesting social and non-social stimuli, phase (2) 6 weeks, -6/7 months infant prefers social to non-social stimulation, will fuss when adult puts them down, and easily soothed via caregiver yet enjoy attention given from a stranger. ...read more.


(Shaffer, 2002 p.391.) It is obvious that there are substantial links in defining the basic needs and emotional attachment bonds between an infant and their mother, as psychoanalytical and learning theorists in the past have established some of the main causes in their earlier research. Yet, the majority of the perspectives have failed to establish whether a lack of attachment in infancy can affect emotional development in later life. On the other hand recent research carried out on the effects of parental support suggest otherwise. Wickrama, Lorenz, and Conger (1997) noted that children who receive more parental support throughout their childhood are less likely to suffer any psychological problems or physical symptoms compared to those individuals who have had less supportive parents. Antonucci & Akiyama (1987) supported Bowlby's (1950) analogy on the importance of critical periods. They noted that Parent-child relationships are an important aspect of a child's social development; due to the nature of their attachment it fuels the structure of the child's social network over the course of their life. Moreover, Cohen et al (2000) have recognised that if problems occur during this process it can compromise the individuals overall well-being (Shaw, 2004. vol, 19, p.4.) Shaw et al (2002 Linda Wade PSY230 Page 1 5/4/2007 ...read more.

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