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Emotional Development. Module Objectives Chapter 9 Why do people have emotions? At what ages do children begin to experience and express different emotions?

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Presentation on theme: "Emotional Development. Module Objectives Chapter 9 Why do people have emotions? At what ages do children begin to experience and express different emotions?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Emotional Development

2 Module Objectives Chapter 9 Why do people have emotions? At what ages do children begin to experience and express different emotions? What is attachment? When do children begin to understand other people’s emotions?

3 Andriea was so excited to meet her 7- month-old nephew Colin. She rushed up to him while he was playing on the floor with his truck and swept him up in a big hug. After a brief, confused look, Colin burst into angry tears, as if to say “who are you? Put me down right now! Think on your own… Identify some of the emotions Colin may have felt. Also, what emotions could Andreia have felt?

4 Expressing Emotions When reviewing the situation with Colin and Andreia joy, anger and surprise all appeared. These are considered “basic emotions” Emotion is the language of a person's mental state of being, they are tied to the person's internal (physical) and external (social) sensory feeling.

5 Why do people feel emotions? Modern research suggests that emotions are useful because they help people adapt to their environment (Izard & Ackerman, 2000). For example, you’re walking down a dark street late one night. You become frightened…how does this affect your behavior? The fear is adaptive because it allows you to organize your behavior around an important goal- avoiding danger.

6 Basic Emotions Joy, anger, surprise, interest, disgust, distress, sadness and fear are all classified as “basic emotions” (Dragh-Lorenz, 2001). Basic emotions are experienced by people worldwide and each consists of three elements: ‐ A subjective feeling ‐ A physiological change ‐ An overt behavior

7 For example- you wake to the sound of a thunderstorm and then discover your roommate took your umbrella. Subjectively you might be angry, physiologically your heart might be beating faster and overtly you might be scowling

8 How can we determine emotions in infants? Facial expressions provide important clues about which emotion the child is experiencing…but they are only one component of emotion

9 Identify the Correct Emotion! Fear Disgust Anger Sadness Interest Joy



12 Facial Expressions Do facial expressions accurately reflect an infant’s emotional state? YES! Research has shown that infants (and adults) worldwide express basic emotions in the same way. Humans have universal emotional expression, which suggests that we are biologically programmed to express emotions in a specific way.

13 Development of Basic Emotions Infants experience only two general emotions ‐ pleasure and distress. This will rapidly change and more discrete emotions will develop, by 9 months infants are thought to experience all basic emotions.

14 Positive Emotions ‐ Smiles ‐ First month  reflex response ‐ By 6 weeks  the social smile appears ‐ By 7 months  smiles toward people; encourages interaction and bonding ‐ Laughing ‐ By 3 to 4 months  during activities (i.e., playing) ‐ By 1 year  response to unexpected events ‐ By 2 years  response to own behavior or attempting to make others laugh

15 Reflexive Smile in a Sleeping Newborn Social Smile in an 8-Month-Old Infant

16 Negative Emotions ‐ Generalized distress ‐ Newborns  hunger, pain, overstimulation ‐ Anger and/or sadness ‐ 2 months  visible facial expression matches situation ‐ Fear and/or distress ‐ 6-7 months to 2 years  stranger wariness ‐ 7 to 12 months  fear of novel toys, noises, sudden movements ‐ 8 to 15 months  separation anxiety

17 Stranger Wariness The emotion of fear is fully developed by 9 months and is expressed in two ways: ‐ Stranger wariness ‐ Separation anxiety Stranger wariness is the distress that young children experience when they are exposed to people who are unfamiliar to them. When a stranger approaches, a typical 6-month-old looks away and begins to fuss. This begins somewhere between 8-9 months of age ‐ reaching its peak at 12-15 months.

18 Stranger Wariness At this time infants begin to realize that all people are not the same, and that the relationship they have with their primary caregivers is special. How wary an infant feels around strangers depends on a number of factors. Infants tend to be less fearful of strangers: ‐ When the environment is familiar ‐ If infants are given time to “warm up” to the strangers ‐ Who are female than those who are male

19 Stranger Wariness Stranger anxiety is adaptive because it emerges at the same time that the child is being to master crawling ‐ Being wary of strangers provides a natural restraint and makes the infant less likely to wander away from familiar caregivers Stranger anxiety gradually declines as infants learn to interpret facial expressions

20 Separation Anxiety This is the intense fear or anxiety that occurs when a parent or caregiver leaves the child ‐ This typically develops around the same time as object permanence and is universal across cultures. Infants’ growing cognitive skills allow them to ask questions with no readily apparent answers ‐ “Why is my mother leaving?” ‐ “Where is she going?” ‐ “Will she come back?”

21 Development of Complex Emotions In addition to the basic emotions, people feel complex emotions such as embarrassment, pride, guilt and shame. These are known as “self-conscious emotions” that involve feelings of success when’s standards are met and feelings of failure when they are not.

22 Research suggests that these complex emotions depend on the child having self-awareness and consciousness of adult reactions (Lewis, 2000). These complex emotions usually develop between 18 months and 3 years

23 Self-awareness A foundation for emotional development is the realization that we are distinct individuals- separate from other people. ‐ The emerging sense of “me” and “mine” fosters self-conscious emotions.

24 The onset of self-awareness is evident when infants of various ages are compared. ‐ Very young infants have no sense of self. It is theorized that for the first 4 months, infants see themselves as part of their mothers (Mahler et al., 1975)

25 Later developments As children grow they continue to experience basic and complex emotions but are elicited by different situations and events. The cognitive growth elementary school children have means they experience shame and guilt in situations they would not have as preschool children (Reimer, 1996). ‐ Example: unlike preschool children, many school-age children would be ashamed if they neglected to defend a classmate who was wrongfully accused of theft.

26 Identifying Emotions in Others’ By 4 to 7 months infants begin to distinguish facial expressions associated with different emotions. ‐ Infants can distinguish a happy, smiling face from a sad, frowning face- but they may not understand the emotional significance (Ludemann, 1991).

27 How can we tell whether infants understand the emotions expressed in a face? The best evidence of this is that infants often match their own emotions to other people’s emotions (Walker- Andrews, 2001). ‐ When happy mothers smile and talk in a pleasant voice  infants express happiness themselves ‐ When mothers are angry or sad  infants become distressed

28 Twenty-three-month-old Stephanie watches as her older brother Erik and his friend Leo argue loudly with each other and begin to wrestle. Uncertain of what is happening, Stephanie glances at her mother. Her mother, though, wears a smile, knowing that Erik and Leo are just playing. On seeing her mother’s reaction, Stephanie smiles too, mimicking her mother’s facial expression.

29 Social Referencing By the end of the first year, infants in an unfamiliar or ambiguous environment often look at their mother/father as if searching for cues to help them interpret the situation. At this age, infants generally use parents’ emotional signals to guide their interpretations of, and reactions to, potentially upsetting or dangerous events and objects.

30 Parents influence how the child perceives a new object If the parent looks afraid when shown a novel object, 12-month-olds are less likely to play with the toy than if a parent looks happy (Repacholi, 1998). Also, social referencing shows that infants are remarkable skilled at using their parent’s emotions to direct their own behavior.

31 As their cognitive skills continue to grow, children begin to understand why people feel as they do. ‐ Example: a kindergarten child knows that unpleasant events often make a person sad or angry (Levine, 1995) Children at this age also know that they more often feel sad when they think about the undesirable event itself They can understand that remembering a past sad event can make a person unhappy (Lagattuta, 1997).

32 Display Rules A social group’s informal norms about when, where, and how much one should show emotions and when and where displays of emotions should be suppressed or masked by displays of other emotions ‐ Prosocial motive ‐ Using verbal or facial display rules to protect someone else’s feelings ‐ Self-protective motive ‐ Using verbal or facial display rules to protect their own feelings

33 Example of display rule: Children in the US learn that they are supposed to express happiness or gratitude when they receive a gift from grandma, and by all means, to suppress any disappointment they may feel should the gift turn out to be pink fuzzy footed pajamas.

34 Display Rules Continued… Same for boys and girls – NO ‐ In elementary school in the US: ‐ Girls believe that it is more acceptable to express emotions like pain whereas boys do not ‐ Girls are more attuned than boys to the need to inhibit emotional displays that may hurt someone else’s feelings Children seem to be attuned to display rules if they are valued in their culture or if an awareness of them serves an important function in the family

35 Think on Your Own… Recall a recent situation in which you engaged in social referencing. Why did you look to the reactions of others to determine your own reaction to the situation? Did you use display rules? Why? ‐ If you didn’t -should you have?

36 Identifying Emotions By age 3, children have the ability to label a few emotional expressions ‐ Best at labeling happiness ‐ The ability to label anger, fear, and sadness gradually appears between the ages of 4-6 ‐ The ability to label pride, shame, and guilt gradually appears between the ages of 8-9

37 Between the ages of 4-8, children have the ability to label others’ emotions by their body movements - Four-year-olds good at sad movements -Five-year-olds good at sad, fear, and happy movements -Eight-year-olds good at sad, fear, happy, and anger movements

38 Measure of Children’s Ability to Label Others’ Emotions Children are asked to view pictures like these and identify the emotions of the characters. With age, children can better identify appropriate emotions.

39 The school age child Elementary school children begin to comprehend that people can have “mixed feelings”. By about 8 yrs. children can realize how people can feel good and bad at the same time, which coincides with concrete operational thinking. A child recognizes that a situation can produce two opposing feelings ‐ For example- A child can be happy and scared about staying home alone.

40 What was Your first social- emotional relationship?

41 The first special relationship we experience develops between parent and child It is believed that this relationship will influence the development of our future relationships

42 Attachment is an enduring emotional connection ‐ A close emotional bond that is “person-specific” and is enduring across time and space. Infants show their attachment through proximity-seeking behaviors, meaning infants (and adults) like to be near those we are attached. Actions such as approaching, following, and climbing into the lap demonstrate the need to be physically close. As well as contact-maintaining behaviors such as clinging, resisting being put down all are evidence of attachment. What is Attachment?

43 Think on Your Own… Who are you attached to? List 5 people and reflect on why that relationship involves attachment

44 Harry Harlow (1959) “The Monkey Love experiments” Harlow evaluated whether feeding or contact comfort was more important to infant attachment. The young animals were “raised” by two kinds of surrogate monkey mother machines. One mother was made of soft terry cloth, the other made of wire mesh

45 “Monkey Love Experiments” Harlow's monkey studies demonstrated that the need for affection created a stronger bond between mother and infant than did physical needs (food).

46 “Monkey Love Experiments” Harlow’s work suggested that the development of a child’s love for their caregiver was emotional rather than physiological Attachment was closely associated with critical periods in early life, after which it was difficult or impossible to compensate for the loss of initial emotional security.

47 What happened to these monkeys? Monkeys raised without their mothers or other monkeys were socially maladjusted the rest of their lives. ‐ When confronted with fear, they displayed autistic and institutionalized behaviors-throwing themselves on the floor, clutched themselves, rocked back and forth, and screamed in terror. They were incapable of having sexual relations and they were also unable to parent their offspring, either abusing or neglecting them.

48 What does this mean for humans? Harlow showed that the development of attachment was closely associated with critical periods in early life, after which it was difficult or impossible to compensate for the loss of initial emotional security Further experiments in which abusive conditions were created showed that no matter how abusive the mothers were, the baby monkeys always came back and displayed affection towards them. ‐ Even in the face of abuse, the need for love was overwhelming

49 Do we all need attachment and physical contact? Yes, according the theories of John Bowlby (1969, 1991), that children who form an attachment to an adult are more likely to survive. Attachment not only deepens the parent-child relationship, but may have contributed to human survival.

50 Bowlby’s Attachment Theory According to Bowlby, the development of attachment takes place in four phases: ‐ Preattachment ‐ Attachment-in-the-Making ‐ Clear-cut (or True) Attachment ‐ Reciprocal Relationships

51 Preattachment Birth to 6 weeks The infant produces innate signals (crying, clinging, smiling, or sucking) that bring others to his/her side and the infant is comforted by these interactions. The infant’s behaviors and the response they evoke from adults create an interactive system that is the first step in the formation of attachment.

52 Attachment-in-the-Making 6 weeks to 6-8 months Infants begin to respond preferentially to familiar people ‐ Infants are forming expectations about how their caregivers will respond to their needs, and as a result, develop (or not) a sense of trust in them

53 Clear-cut Attachment 6-8 months to 1.5-2 years By 7-8 months, infants have singles out the attachment figure, usually the mother, as a special person. ‐ The mother now serves as a secure base Infants actively seek contact with their caregivers ‐ They happily greet their mother when she appears ‐ They may exhibit separation anxiety when she leaves ‐ This behavior reflects cognitive growth as well. The infant now has a mental representation of mother and an understanding that she will be there to meet the infant’s needs.

54 Reciprocal Relationships 1.5-2 years and beyond As the cognitive and language abilities of toddlers increase, they being to understand their parents feelings, goals and motives ‐ They are better able to act as partners in the attachment relationship ‐ They often take initiative in interactions and negotiate with parents ‐ They cope with separation more effectively because they can now anticipate the return.

55 The Quality of Attachment Based on how the infant reacts to separation from the caregiver and the reunion by using a procedure known as the Strange Situation. Ainsworth (1993) and others have identified 4 basic types of attachment relationships


57 Strange Situation EpisodeEventAttachment Behavior 1 Caregiver/Child enter room None 2Caregiver/Child aloneCaregiver as a secure base 3Stranger entersReaction to stranger 4Child and Stranger Separation anxiety and stranger comfort 5Caregiver returnsReunion reaction 6Child aloneSeparation anxiety 7Stranger entersStranger comfort 8Caregiver returnsReunion reaction

58 Ainsworth’s Three Attachment Categories 1. Secure Attachment 2. Insecure/Resistant 3. Insecure/Avoidant

59 Classifications of Infant Attachment Label Proximity Seeking Contact Maintaining Proximity Avoiding Contact Resisting Crying SecureHigh (if distressed) Low High or Low Low AvoidantLow HighLow High or Low Low ResistantHigh (often pre- separation) LowHigh Occasionally High Moderate to High

60 Types of Attachment Secure attachment is a relationship of trust and confidence. ‐ The baby may or may not cry when the mother leaves, but when she returns, the baby wants to be with her and if the baby is crying, the baby stops. During infancy this relationship provides a secure base for exploration of the environment. ‐ This group seems to say “I missed you terribly, but now that you’re back, I’m okay.” 60-65% of American children have secure attachment relationships (Kail, 2007).

61 A secure attachment relationship is likely to develop when parents respond to their infant’s needs reliably and sensitively

62 3 Types of Insecure Attachment A relationship that is unstable or unpredictable, characterized by the infant’s fear, anxiety, anger or indifference toward the caregiver Insecure-Avoidant attachment: A pattern of insecure attachment in which infants or young children seem somewhat indifferent toward their caregivers and may even avoid their caregivers ‐ The baby is not upset when the mother leaves, and, when she returns, may ignore her by looking or turning away

63 If they do get upset when left alone, they are as easily comforted by a stranger as by a parent. As if to say, “you left me again, I always have to take care of myself!” 20% of American infant have avoidant- attachment

64 Resistant/ambivalent Attachment A pattern of insecure attachment in which infants or young children are clingy and stay close to their caregivers rather than exploring their environment. The baby is upset when the mother leaves and remains upset or even angry when she returns, and is difficult to console ‐ Because the child can’t depend on the parent for attunement and connection, he develops a sense of anxiety and feelings of insecurity

65 Insecure Attachments (p.221) Disorganized attachment is a pattern of insecure attachment in which infants or young children have no consistent way to coping with the stress of the Strange Situation The baby seems confused when the mother leaves and, when she returns, seems as if the baby doesn’t really understand what’s happening…”what’s going on here?” ‐ They want to approach their mother, but they also seem to regard her as a source of fear from which they want to withdraw

66 Disorganized Attachment Disorganized attachment leads to difficulties in the regulation of emotions, social communication, academic reasoning as well as to more severe emotional problems. This type of attachment occurs when the child’s’ need for emotional closeness remains unseen or ignored. Less than 5% of middle-class Americans fall into this category. ‐ This rate is considerably higher in samples in which parents are having difficulties with their own working models of attachment.

67 Identify the Attachment Relationship A baby in this group might say “I missed you terribly, but now that you’re back, I’m okay.” A baby in this group might say “You left me again. I always have to take care of myself.” A baby in this group might say “Why do you do this? I get so angry when you’re like this.”

68 How Did You Do? A baby in this group might say “I missed you terribly, but now that you’re back, I’m okay.” A baby in this group might say “You left me again. I always have to take care of myself.” A baby in this group might say “Why do you do this? I get so angry when you’re like this.” Secure Insecure/Avoidant Insecure/resistant

69 Infants develop an Internal working model, which are a set of expectations about parents’ availability and responsiveness

70 Adult Attachment Adult attachment models are based on adults’ perceptions of their own childhood relationships with their parents and of the continuing influence of those relationships ‐ Autonomous or Secure ‐ Dismissing ‐ Preoccupied

71 The attachment of parents is a significant factor in the attachment styles of their children

72 Securely attached infants appear to grow up to be better adjusted and more socially skilled than insecurely attached children.

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