11 - attachment to others and development of self

11 - attachment to others and development of self - The...

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The Caregiver-Child Attachment Relationship 01:04 Attachment Theory Bowlby’s Attachment Theory o Strongly influenced by several key tenets of Freud’s theories, especially  the idea that infants’ earliest relationships with their mothers shape their  later development  Secure base: The presence of a trusted caregiver provides the infant or  toddler with a sense of security that allows the child to explore the  environment and become generally knowledgeable and competent  Primary caregiver serves as a haven of safety  o Attachment process develops from the interaction between species- specific learning biases and the infant’s experience wit his or her caregiver  Attachment increases the infant’s chance of survival  o The initial development of attachment takes place in four phases Preattachment (birth to 6 weeks): The infant produces innate signals  that brings others to his or her side Attachment-in-the-making (6 weeks to 6-8 months): Infants begin to  respond preferentially to familiar people  Infants form expectations about how their caregivers will respond to  their needs  Clear-cut attachment (between 6-8 months and 1 ½ years): Infants  actively seek contact with their regular caregiver  May exhibit separation protest or distress The mother now serves as a secure base  Reciprocal relationships (from 1 ½ to 2 years on): Toddlers’ rapidly  increasing cognitive and language abilities enable them to understand  their parents’ feelings, goals, and motives A more mutually regulated relationship emerges  Separation distress declines o The usual outcome of these phases is an enduring emotional tie uniting  the infant and caregiver Internal working model of attachment: A mental representation of the  self, of attachment figures, and of relationships in general  Based on the young child’s discovering the extent to which his or  her caregiver could be depended upon 
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Guides the individual’s expectations about relationships throughout  life Ainsworth’s Research o Came to the conclusion that two key measures provide insight into the  quality of the infant’s attachment to the caregiver The extent to which an infant is able to use his or her primary caregiver  as a secure base How the infant reacts to brief separations from and reunions with the  caregiver Measurement of Attachment Security Strange Situation: Conducted in a context that is unfamiliar to the child and  likely to heighten the child’s need for his or her parent Has proven extremely useful in understanding the nature and importance of  early parent-child relationships 
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This note was uploaded on 11/16/2010 for the course PSYC 355 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '08 term at Maryland.

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11 - attachment to others and development of self - The...

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