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Unformatted text preview: Attachment Definition
A close emotional relationship between 2 persons, characterized by mutual affection and a desire to maintain proximity. It is enduring across space and time Attachment Many investigators now believe that children’s early relationships with parents influence the nature of their interactions with others from infancy into adulthood, as well as their feelings about their own worth Harry Harlow
Experimental work with monkeys who were deprived of all early social interactions strongly supported the view that healthy social and emotional development is rooted in children’s early social interactions with Postnatal Effects Bowlby John Bowlby proposed attachment theory, which is influenced by ethological theory and posits that children are predisposed to develop attachments with caregivers as a means of increasing the chances of their own survival Evolutionary theory born with tendencies that promote survival of the species attachment behaviors are adaptive because they help protect infant. John Bowlby Psychoanalyst turned Ethologist Evolutionary theory born with tendencies that promote survival of the species attachment behaviors are adaptive because they help protect infant. Two-way street! There are behaviors of caregivers as well as of the infant Genetic readiness for attachment to occur, but learning (each other’s signals) must account for the rest Bowlby and Ainsworth Secure base is Bowlby’s term for an attachment figure’s presence that provides an infant or toddler with a sense of security that makes it possible for the infant to explore the environment Mary Ainsworth, Bowlby’s student, extended and tested his ideas Development of Attachment Behavior
1. Asocial Phase (0-6 wks): no particular preference for social stimuli 2. Indiscriminate Attachments (6 wks - 6 mos): enjoy all people 3. Specific Attachment (7-9 mos): only want one person. Wary of strangers. 4. Multiple attachments (soon after specific attachment phase): attach to multiple familiar people, e.g., father, grandparents, siblings Video: Stranger Anxiety
At around 6 or 7 months of age, many infants develop a fear or wariness of unfamiliar people, which tends to intensify over the next several months. There are, however, substantial individual differences in the degree to which infants react fearfully to strangers, and the nature of the unfamiliar person’s behavior also affects how infants react to them. Video: Separation Anxiety At around 8 months of age, many infants become upset when separated from their primary caregiver (as anyone who has served as a babysitter well knows). The 9 monthold boy begins to cry almost as soon as he sees his mother departs. She returns immediately, and everything is all right again. In contrast, the 8monthold girl is not at all upset when her mother leaves, and she flirts with the cameraman the whole time her mom is gone. Nevertheless, she is delighted when Mom returns. It’s possible that in a couple of months she might behave quite differently to being left by her mother. Status: Mary Ainsworth’s Strange Situation A series of separation and reunion episodes to which infants are exposed in order to determine the quality of their attachments Increasingly stressful situations Episodes of the Strange Situation
1. E introduces dyad to room & leaves 2. Parent sits while baby plays [P as secure base] 3. Stranger enters, sits, & talks to P [Stranger Anxiety] 4. P leaves, S offers comfort if baby is upset. [Separation Anxiety] 5. P returns, greets baby, comforts if needed. S leaves [Reunion] 6. P leaves [Separation Anxiety] 7. S enters & comforts if needed. [Stranger Anxiety] 8. P returns, greets baby, comforts if needed, tries to interest baby in toys [Reunion] What is coded by observers Secure: bond where child welcomes contact with CG & uses CG as secure base from which to explore the world 65% North American children Explores (environment & S) while CG is present. When CG is absent, becomes highly upset. Warmly greets CG upon reunion & is soothed by CG. Attachment classification Anxious/Resistant: insecure bond, characterized by separation protest & tendency for child to remain near CG (not explore) yet resist contact from CG 10% North American children Resist contact especially upon reunion, not soothed by CG Anxious/Avoidant:insecure bond, characterized by little protest & child largely ignores CG 20% North American children Can be sociable with other adults Disorganized: insecure bond characterized by confused approach to CG 5-10% North American children New category Approach CG then abruptly avoid CG Maybe Strange Situation is simply measuring differences in temperament (Kagan)? Why? Classifications correspond with temperament numbers But the answer is No Infants can develop different types of attachments with different people CG of difficult babies can be trained to to be more sensitive , babies develop secure relationships of Attachment relationships Most attachment classifications remain stable & can affect variety of life outcomes (e.g., romantic relationships) Why? What is the mechanism? Early attachments result in internal working models = cognitive representations of self, others, and relationships that infants construct from their interactions with CG Internal Working Model of Attachment The child develops a mental representation of the self, of attachment figures, and of relationships in general This working model guides children’s interactions with caregivers and other people in infancy and at older ages Memory biases for events as a function of internal working models Maternal Sensitivity
• awareness of potential meaning in infant behavior • accurate interpretation of infant's current behavior • formulation of appropriate responses • contingent and timely responses Adapted from: Ainsworth, Bell, and Stayton (1971) Long-Term Effects
Children who were securely attached as infants seem to have closer, more harmonious relationships with peers than do insecurely attached children Secure attachment in infancy also predicts positive peer and romantic relationships and emotional health in adolescence Securely attached children also earn higher grades and are more Long-Term Effects It is unclear, however, whether security of attachment in infancy has a direct effect on later development, or whether early security of attachment predicts children’s functioning because “good” parents remain “good” parents It is likely that children’s development can be better predicted from the combination of both their early attachment status and the quality of Rene Spitz (1945)
“Hospitalism” retarded physical development, and disruption of perceptual-motor skills and language. It is now understood that this wasting disease was mostly caused by to a lack of social contact between the infant and its caregivers. Infants in poorer hospitals were less subject to this disease since those hospitals could not afford incubators which meant that the hospital staff regularly held the infants. Timing: Early experience
Environmental manipulations (handling, maternal separation, high and low quality of care) can alter development of stress-regulatory processes of (in rat) (Feneglio et al., 2006; Avishai-Eliner
et al., 2001; Plotsky et al., 2005) (Moriceau & Sullivan, 2004) (Caldji et al., 2000; Champagne et al., 2008; Plotsky et al., 2005) Hypothalamic Pituitary Adrenal HPA Axis
+ Hippocampus Amygdala
CRH + GC GC Hypothalamus CRH + Pituitary ACTH + GC Adrenal Cortex GC Caregiving and Stress GC easily pass the blood-brain barrier Presence of mother moderates the effects of stress hormones Low fearful Sullivan High fearful Gunnar Environmental manipulations (handling, maternal separation, high and low quality of care) can alter development of stress-regulatory processes of (in rat) (Feneglio et al., 2006; Avishai-Eliner et al., 2001; Plotsky et al., 2005) (Moriceau & Sullivan, 2004) (Caldji et al., 2000; Champagne et al., 2008; Plotsky et al., 2005) Effects of Stress Behavior
(Caldji et al., 1998; Nelson et al., 2002; Rosenblum; 2001) Emotional reactivity Stress reactivity Increased fearful behavior Increased sensitivity to negative information Increased anxious behavior (Vyas & Chattarji, 2004) (Dalgleish et al., 2001) Odd social behavior Humans Intimate relationships (O’Connor et al., 2003) Peer friendships (Hodges & Tizard, 1989) Quarrelsome Less often liked Less likely to have a special friend These effects persist into adulthood (Plotsky) Brain
Regionally specific Timing in Human Studies
Measure Event Age Orphanage Experience 93 Children 51 internationally adopted children (institutional care) & now living with families Age: 8 years old; 4-12 years old placed in orphanage within 1st year Majority (80%) adopted within 1st 2 years Mean time in orphanage = 15.3 months (SD = 10.6) 42 Comparison group (sex, age group matched) History of Maternal Deprivation associated with Heightened Stress Reactivity PI Comparison Early life stress associated with greater anxiety/more internalizing problems CBCL Casey*, Glatt*, Tottenham* et al., 2009 Emotional Development after Adversity
Random assignment Zeanah et al., 2009 % with Internalizing Disorder * Automated Volumetric Measurements Early adversity associated with larger amygdala volumes * * Tottenham, Hare, Quinn et al., 2009 F(1,33) = 8.37, p<.007 Tottenham, Hare, Quinn et al., 2009 Amygdala Volume Associated with More Trait Anxiety r = 0.43, p <.004 r = 0.45, p <.03 Tottenham, Hare, Quinn et al., 2009 Face Go/Nogo Task 500 ms 500 ms Hare, Tottenham et al., 2005; 2008 Tottenham, Hare & Casey, under review Tottenham, Hare & Casey, under review Tottenham, Hare & Casey, under review Caregiving X Emotion
Y=-5 R p < 0.01, corrected Tottenham, Hare, Millner et al., in press Early adversity is associated with greater amygdala activity and less cortical recruitment Comparison Fear
PI: Amygdala Comparison: Superior Frontal Inferior Frontal Superior Temporal Sulcus Fusiform Gyrus PI R p < 0.01, corrected Tottenham, Hare, Millner et al., in press Summary & Conclusions Emotional Development Changes in Neurobiology involving Amygdala and its connections with PFC Individual differences in this neurobiology are associated with individual differences in behavior Neurobiology is a phenotype Poor caregiving is associated with Atypically large and hyper-reactive amygdala during childhood Poor self regulation in emotional contexts Neural bias towards emotionality and away from regulated processing Effects of early experience can be long lasting Amygdala and associated emotional development may be esp vulnerable to early-life stress, ...
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This note was uploaded on 09/24/2010 for the course PSYCH 120B taught by Professor Shams during the Spring '09 term at UCLA.
- Spring '09