Outline findings and conclusions of research into cross-cultural variations in attachment. (6 marks)

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Rebecca Burns | Psychology

Outline findings and conclusions of research into cross-cultural variations in attachment. (6 marks)

In 1988, Van Ijzendoorn MH and Kroonenberg PM used a meta-analysis of the Strange Situation to research cross-cultural patterns of attachment. They used the same procedure as Ainsworth as this is the ‘standard’ way of assessing attachment as it shows how not all infants are securely attached.  They therefore found the same three types of attachment: Secure (B), Resistant (C) and Avoidant (A).  

The Strange Situation can be used to test cross-cultural patterns because there are cultural differences in the way caregivers would bring up a child and expectations of children’s development, so many would be expected.  However, an infant’s basic needs are universal and so there should also be some similarities.

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The ways in which Van Ijzendoorn and Kroonenberg tried to overcome problems by previous studies of cross-cultural patterns were firstly by using large sample sizes that can therefore be better generalised to whole populations and provide more reliable results. They also tried to examine whether or not the differences between cultures were any greater than the existing inter-cultural differences. Finally they used the use of the American ‘standard’ distribution of attachment types (20% type A, 70% type B, 10% type C) which are based on a narrow sample themselves and therefore aren’t very standardized at all.

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This essay is asking for an 'outline' which is given here. However it is also asking for conclusions so it is fine to add a couple of interpretative comments too. 4*