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Flashcards in Attachment Theory & Childcare Deck (25)
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How did Bowlby contribute to attachment theory?

Leading theorist in attachment.
Three stages when separated from caregivers: protest, despair, detachment.


Describe attachment theory.

Caregiver is used by infant as a secure base for explorations and separations.
Internal working model of themselves and primary caregivers.


How did Mary Ainsworth contribute to attachment theory?

Developed the strange situation.
Maternal sensitivity - Ugandan mothers.
Secure, insecure, not yet attached.


Explain the 4 main classifications of attachment.

Anxious/avoidant - child may not be distressed at mother's departure and may avoid her on her return.
Securely attached - child is distressed by departure and easily soothed on return. Caregiver is a secure base.
Anxious/resistant/ambivalent - may stay close to mother for first few minutes and become highly distressed at her departure. Mother returns - seek both comfort + distance from mother. Child not eager to explore.
Disorganised/disoriented - none of the above. No strategy for handling separations or reunions.


What brain areas are activated depending on attachment type (Dawson, 2011)?

Insecurely attached babies - activity in the right side of prefrontal cortex (specialised in negative emotions).
Securely attached - opposite pattern.


What is the sensitive hypothesis?

Main factor influencing attachment is the mother's sensitivity.


What are the two main hypotheses of attachment?

Sensitivity + competence.


Name some studies that explored the sensitivity hypothesis.

Mesman (2016) - correlation of .68.
Seifer & Schiller (1996) - no relation between sensitivity + strange situation. Temperament was related to maternal sensitivity.
Zreik (2017) - Arab-Israeli children; no religious differences.
Study - stronger relationship for Christian mothers compared to Muslim mothers (sensitivity + attachment).
Study - still-face paradigm + attachment; parents of avoidant infants showed less sensitivity than parents of secure infants.
De Wolff & van Ijzendoorn (1997) - sensitivity = .22. Contiguity of response = .10.


What is the competence hypothesis?

Attachment will lead to differences in children's emotional, social and cognitive competencies.


Describe a study that explains the link between attachment and aggression (Booth-Laforce, 2006).

Booth-Laforce (2006) - resistant; excessive need for mother in stressful situations. Avoidant; denial of need + affection. Secure; availability + responsiveness of parents.
Aggression was related to avoidant mother.
Aggression negatively related to security with father.
Social competency was related to security with both parents.


Describe a study that explains the link between attachment and blame (Dwyer, 2010).

Spilt milkshake scenario.
Boys - internal blame when father attachment was negative.
Girls - external blame when father attachment was negative.


Describe a study that explains the link between attachment and teacher's ratings of friendliness (Scarf, 2014).

Related for boys but not for girls.


Describe a study that explains the link between attachment and peer relationships (Schneider, Atkinson & Tardif, 2001).

Small relationship between the two. Stronger for friends than other peers.


What are some criticisms of the sensitivity hypothesis (Rothbaum, 2000)?

Cultural differences.
Caregiving reflects values + goals of a society.
Japanese vs US parents.
Japanese = dependence, seeking of acceptance + commitment, dependence + safety are the main link.
US = Individuation, autonomous mastery of the environment, safety + exploration are the main link.


Describe 2 studies which show the cultural differences in attachment.

Miyake (2001) - Japanese mothers are more sensitive. Maternal sensitivity has been previously shown to correlate with secure babies.
Attachment in various communities - US has lowest rate of secure attachment. Japan has no avoidant attachment but the highest level of resistant attachment.


What are the two main factors affecting attachment?

Infant characteristics - temperament, special needs, prematurity, illness.
Family circumstances - stress.


Briefly explain the adult attachment model (Bartholomew & Horowitz, 1991).

Adult avoidant pattern - less invested in close relationships, less grief from loss, doesn't use touch to communicate affection, feels bored and distant during social interactions, doesn't self-disclose.
Adult anxious pattern - deeply invested in relationships yet frequent breakups, parents are intrusive and unfair, grieves intensely + no resolution, worries about rejection or disapproval during daily interactions, self-discloses too much.
Adult secure pattern - values + enjoys relationships, grieves losses but achieves resolution, enjoys sexual exploration, copes with stress by seeking social support, self-discloses appropriately.


What is insecure attachment related to (McWilliams & Bailey, 2010)?

Anxiety, depression + alcohol problems.


Is there stability of attachment (Waters, 2000)?

Somewhat... Inconclusive evidence.


Name two studies which show how day-care can affect development.

Belsky - children in day-care = more aggressive.
McCartney - children in day-care = higher language + cognitive outcomes.


What did NICHD (Brooks-Gunn, 2010) discover about attachment?

There was no difference in employment type (full-time, part-time, no employment).
Aggressive play was predicted by less maternal sensitivity.
Self-assertion was predicted by higher language scores + females.
Attachment + employment type results are not strong - positives and negatives to each type of employment.


What did NICHD (1997) discover the strange situation task can be predicted by?

Maternal sensitivity + responsiveness.


Name the 3 main effects of childcare (Jaffe et al, 2011).

Better maths + literacy at age 5-7.
Fewer conduct problems at 11-13.


Is there lots or little evidence that supports the idea that attachment is a result from feeding or hunger reduction?

Little evidence.


When does attachment begin?

When the infant can discriminate a particular caregiver from others.
Furthermore, children can form attachments to several people.