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Socioemotional Development in Infants and Toddlers Chapter 6 Attachment • emotional tie to a specific person or persons • exists across time and space • infants tend to form attachments with primary caregivers Attachment • Bowlby’s early work – Early infancy—orientation without discrimination.(2-4 mos) • Orients to any attending adult • Little discrimination among caregiving adults – Middle infancy—orientation with discrimination (6-8 mos) • Gazing preference for primary caregivers • Responds differentially to primary caregivers Bowlby’s Early Work on Attachment – Late infancy early toddlerhood—safe-base attachment (6-12 mos) • Actively seek to be near caregivers • Seek proximal contact • Become distressed when caregiver leaves (bond across time and space) – Toddlerhood—goal corrected partnerships • Recognize motives of caregivers • Toddler adjusts behaviors to needs and motives of caregivers Ainsworth’s work • Strange situation (page 193, Table 6.1) – Stranger anxiety—signals attachment – Separation anxiety—signals attachment • Attachment Status – Secure Attachment • Mother return: infant seeks contact; cling tightly; allows mother to comfort and soothe • Majority of infants show secure attachment Ainsworth’s work • Attachment Status – Insecure Avoidant Attachment • No preference for mother (avoids or shows equal preference for mother and stranger) • Mother leaves infants undisturbed; • Continue playing with stranger Ainsworth’s work • Attachment Status – Insecure Resistant\ Ambivalent Attachment • Exaggerated stranger and separation anxiety • Exaggerated need to maintain proximal contact with mother • Some resistant to mother’s attempts to soothe • Some passive with mother’s attempts to console • Some variable in response (cycles of calm and anger) • Variable in status Ainsworth’s work • Attachment Status • Parental quality and attachment (sensitive responsiveness) – Secure Attachment • Timely response • Appropriate response – Insecure disorganized or disoriented Attachments • abusive parents or parents who suffered abuse themselves Ainsworth’s work • Insecure Attachments – indifferent parenting—response only when necessary or when the parent is impacted – indulgent parenting—over stimulating; intrusive; – unresponsive parenting—neglectful • Mothers of insecurely attached infants – tense – irritable – unresponsive; little interest – mechanical handling – scheduled vs. demand feeding Infant Characteristics, Caregiver Characteristics and Attachments • Easy Infants--associated with greater frequency of secure attachments • Special needs—associated with insecure attachments • Fussy or difficult infants associated with higher levels of irritability-- tend to develop insecure attachments with mothers who have low levels of social support • Model tends to be bidirectional with infant characteristics interacting with caregiver characteristics to yield the attachment status Infant Characteristics, Caregiver Characteristics and Attachments • Fathers’ role in attachment: – fathers’ roles tend to reflect mothers’ roles in relationships with attachment statuses • Child care and caregiver attachment: – with quality child care, no difference in attachment given caregiver is responsive in sensitive and timely ways when with infant Infant Characteristics, Caregiver Characteristics and Attachments • NICHD—Child Care Report (2006): – Quality of out of home child care related to: • Family income, education, parenting style • Higher quality out of home child care related to higher levels of cognitive and social development • Effect sizes range from moderate to small Attachment and Developmental Outcomes • Long-term outcomes: – securely attached infants tend to have some early advantage over other attachment statuses; – higher quality care later in childhood and adolescence can overcome early attachment challenges; Social Risk and Children’s Health Outcomes • Larson, et al. (2008) – High School education or less – Family income <200% federal poverty level – Single parent household – Minority racial/ethnic group – Uninsured – Family conflict – Low maternal mental health – Unsafe neighborhood Social Risk and Children’s Health Outcomes • Larson, et al. findings: – Overall, family income, minority status, & maternal mental health independently predicted poorer health status – As the number of social risk factors increased the child’s health status decreased – Mechanism of effect is likely related to cumulative higher levels of stress as number of risks increase Erikson’s first psychosocial stage: Trust vs. Mistrust • Two tasks: – establish sense that the environment is going to meet basic needs in a timely and appropriate manner – establish sense that the self is an active agent in one’s own outcomes Erikson’s first psychosocial stage: Trust vs. Mistrust • caregivers who establish a sensitive responsiveness are likely to develop a sense of trust • infant comes to learn that differential cries relate to differential outcomes • Infant develops a sense of contingency between behaviors and outcomes—a sense of agency Erikson’s 2nd psychosocial stage: Autonomy vs. Shame & Doubt • Toddler seeks to assert preferences beyond simple needs (e.g. particular type of food rather than simply hunger) • Caregivers can provide choices of acceptable options to establish a sense of autonomy • Caregivers who are not sensitive to and provide opportunities for toddlers to exercise some preference can create doubt within the toddler Temperament • The reactivity of the infant to the environment • Genetics plays a significant role in temperament • Temperament is measured across nine dimensions (Table 6.5, pg 204) – Activity level, rhythmicity, intensity of reaction, etc. – Profile based on levels of each dimension Temperament • Temperament Constellations: – Easy: generally positive; stable rhythm of movement, sleep adapts to new situations, smiles – Slow-to-Warm-Up: slow to adapt to new situations; mildly negative response; more intense reactions than Easy babies but less than difficult babies – Difficult: intense negative reactions to new situations; slow to adapt; irregular patterns of sleeping and activity overall; Temperament • Based on an interaction of genetics and interactions with the environment • Balance between temperament and environment determines outcomes Temperament • Scarr: – Passive: infant’s environment is frequently based on biological parents so, genetic tendency is reinforced by the environment – Parents who accommodate to their infant’s temperament tend to have more successful outcomes Emotions • In the first 12 months of life, infants tend to respond differentially and more sensitively to expressed emotions by caregiver – Fear, anger, sadness, interest, joy resulted in differential responses to the visual cliff – Infants reference the reactions of caregivers as cues for their own reactions – From very early on, infants tend to respond to distress cries from other infants Emotions • Toddlers: – Sense of self as independent entity leads to: • Self conscious emotions • Expanded emotional repertoire –Guilt, embarrassed, pride – Comparison of one’s own behaviors to some standard is linked to cognitive and social development Infant and Toddler Play • Infant Play – Mutual gaze—first awareness of the other – Sensorimotor Play— • Focus is on interactions with motion and objects in the environment • Some level of novelty is preferred • Repetition of actions is frequent • Toys over which infants can assert control tend to be preferred and build a sense of agency (Bandura, 1977; c.f. Erikson, trust—mistrust) Infant and Toddler Play • Toddler Play – With language, mobility, and cognitive development, toddlers move to more socially mediated play – Coordinated imitation—tend to repeat others’ actions – Early toddler play remains focused on motion and objects (e.g. block stacking) – As maturation occurs, more social role play begins; Infant and Toddler Play • Toddler Play – More advanced levels of social play (negotiating roles, changing roles) tend to be related to more lasting friendships across childhood – Conflicts arise! • Distraction and diversion tend to work best with toddlers • Conflicts tend to be based on possession of objects or turns at some desired activity • Possession is ownership (similar to dog rules) Infant and Toddler Play • Toddler Play – As language and symbolic thought improve, toddlers begin make-believe play – Imaginary roles and substitution of one object for another (shoe becomes a truck) occurs – Children can appear to be much more cognitively advanced in play with peers than alone.
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