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Socioemotional Development in Infants and Toddlers

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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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