Outline and evaluate research into cross-cultural variations in attachment

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Outline and evaluate research into cross-cultural variations in attachment (12)

The aim of Takahashi’s controlled observation was to see if the strange situation, created by Mary Ainsworth in America was appropriate to use for Japanese infants and whether it was a true reflection of their attachment. It tested whether the strange situation was universal to cultures or just to the culture it was developed in (American, white, middle class). Takahashi took 60 infants from middle class backgrounds in Japan. They were all one year of age and had been raised at home. Takahashi found that 68% on infants were securely attached however 32% were resistant-insecure. This was much higher than the American average. The Japanese infants were found to be more disturbed when left alone than the American infants. The infant alone step of the strange situation was stopped for 90% of Japanese infants because the baby became so distressed. If infants had no been so distressed then possible more than 80% of them would have been classified as securely attached. This study concluded that there are cross cultural variations in how infants respond to separation. Japanese infants often sleep with their parents until the age of two. This for example would make separation more stressful for the infant. The strange situation seemed to test stress in Japanese babies however this was not the original task of the strange situation.

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This study was only carried out on a limited sample of infants. There were only 60 infants all from middle class backgrounds all brought up at home. The study was a parachute study, the whole population of Japan isn't reflected because within Japan there are many sub-cultures. This means the study lacks population validity.

The aim of the Grossman and Grossman study was to look at attachment types amongst German infants. Each infant and mother was observed. Firstly the parent and infant alone, then the stranger joins the parent and infant, the parent leaves infant and ...

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