Infant Abilities Infants are born with immature visual system –can detect movement and large objects Other senses function well on day 1 –will orient to sounds –turn away from unpleasant odors –prefer sweet to sour tastes Senses are keenly attuned to people, helping the infant quickly learn to differentiate between the mother and other humans. Born with a number of reflex behaviors
Newborn and the Apgar Readings Watch“Testing Competency In a Newborn” Video #13 from Worth’s Digital Media Archive for Psychology Click Here to Play in Separate Window
Infant Reflexes Reflex is an automatic, unlearned response Rooting—turning the head and opening the mouth in the direction of a touch on the cheek. Child is looking for nourishment. Sucking—sucking rhythmically in response to oral stimulation Grasping—curling the fingers around an object Babinski—fanning and curling toes when foot is stroked Moro—throwing the arms out, arching the back and bringing the arms together as if to hold onto something (in response to loud noise or sudden change in position of the head)
Reflexes in the Newborn Watch “Reflexes in the Newborn” Video #14 from Worth’s Digital Media Archive for Psychology Click Here if you to watch this in a separate window
Newborn Reflexes Play “Capabilities of the Newborn” (3:59) Segment #13 from The Mind: Psychology Teaching Modules (2 nd edition)
Neural Development At birth, the newborn’s brain is 25% of its adult weight; its birth weight, by contrast, is 5% of its eventual adult weight By the end of infancy a baby’s brain will be 75% of its adult weight but their body and height will be about 20% Newborns enter the world with an estimated 100 billion neurons. After birth, the brain continues to develop rapidly. The number of dendrites increases dramatically during the first two years of life. The axons of many neurons acquire myelin, the white, fatty covering that increases a neuron’s communication speed.
Pruning Synaptic Connections By age 6, the child’s brain is about 95 percent of its adult size Although overall brain size doesn’t change during childhood and adolescence, dramatic changes in the number of interconnections occur Unused dendrites, synaptic connections, and neurons are discarded
Maturation Biological growth processes that enable orderly changes in behavior
Motor Development Includes all physical skills and muscular coordination The basic sequence of motor skill development during infancy is universal, but the average ages can be a little deceptive. Each infant has his or her own genetically programmed timetable of physical maturation and developmental readiness to master different motor skills.
Temperament A person’s characteristic emotional reactivity and intensity A child might be: –An “easy” or “slow to warm” or “difficult” baby Temperament shown in infancy appears to carry through a person’s life. Temperament has a genetic and biological basis, but that environmental experiences can modify a child’s basic temperament.
Temperament Easy—adaptable, positive mood, regular habits Slow to warm up—low activity, somewhat slow to adapt, generally withdraw from new situations Difficult—intense emotions, irritable, cry frequently Average—unable to classify (1/3 of all children)
Temperament Play “Bringing Up Monkeys” (9:40) Segment #23 from Scientific American Frontiers: Video Collection for Introductory Psychology (2 nd edition) –Is monkey personality genetic or learned from their parents? –Can we change your personality by changing parenting styles? –In extreme situations what wins out? Genes or Parenting Style?
Infant Attachment Intense emotional bond between infant and caregiver (mother)
Attachment Theory An infant’s ability to thrive physically and psychologically depends in part on the quality of attachment. Infants can form multiple attachments.
Attachment Play “Attachment” (5:03) Segment #21 from Psychology: The Human Experience
Ainsworth’s Strange Situation Mother-child dyads were observed in a playroom under four conditions: –initial mother-child interaction –mother leaves infant alone in playroom –friendly stranger enters playroom –mother returns and greets child Study done with infants between 1 and 2 years old 1913-1989
Forms of Attachment Securely attached—explores the room when mother is present, becomes upset and explores less when mother is not present, shows pleasure when mother returns
Forms of Attachment Insecure Attachment - become extremely distressed when the mother leaves the room and, when reunited, are hard to soothe 2 Types of Insecure Attachment: 1.Avoidantly attached—a form of insecure attachment in which child avoids mother and acts coldly to her 2.Anxious resistant attachment—a form of insecure attachment where the child remains close to mother and remains distressed despite her attempts to comfort
Strange-Situation Test Watch “Morelli’s Strange-Situation Test” Video #17 from Worth’s Digital Media Archive for Psychology. Click Here if you to watch this in a separate window
Effects of Attachment Secure attachment predicts social competence. Deprivation of attachment is linked to negative outcome. A responsive environment helps most infants recover from attachment disruption.
Attachment An emotional tie with another person resulting in seeking closeness Children develop strong attachments to their parents and caregivers. Body contact, familiarity, and responsiveness all contribute to attachment.
Harlow’s Study of Attachment Infant rhesus monkeys were placed with two surrogate mothers, one made of wire and one covered with soft cloth Milk-producing nipple was attached to either the wire or the cloth mother Attachment was based on “contact comfort” rather than feeding
Familiarity Sense of contentment with that which is already known Infants are familiar with their parents and caregivers.
Imprinting and Critical Period A process by which certain animals, early in life, form attachments The imprinted behavior develops within a critical period--an optimal period when the organism’s exposure to certain stimuli produce the imprinted behavior. Konrad Lorenz studied imprinting.
Konrad Lorenz Studied imprinted behaviors Goslings are imprinted to follow the first large moving object they see.
Raising Psychologically Healthy Children Parenting Styles
Responsiveness Responsive parents are aware of what their children are doing. Unresponsive parents ignore their children--helping only when they want to.
Baumrind’s Parenting Styles Authoritarian—value obedience and use a high degree of power assertion Authoritative—less concerned with obedience, greater use of induction Permissive—most tolerant, least likely to use discipline Neglectful—completely uninvolved
Basic Parenting Styles Parents with an authoritarian parenting style are demanding and unresponsive toward their children’s needs and wishes Parents with a permissive parenting style may be permissive-indulgent (extremely tolerant, not demanding, and responsive to their children) or permissive-indifferent (extremely tolerant, not demanding, and not responsive to their children). Parents with an authoritative parenting style set clear standards for their children’s behavior but are also responsive to their children’s needs and wishes
Authoritarian Parenting Low in warmth Discipline is strict and sometimes physical. Communication high from parent to child and low from child to parent Maturity expectations are high.
Permissive Parenting High in warmth but rarely discipline Communication is low from parent to child but high from child to parent. Expectations of maturity are low.
Authoritative Parenting High in warmth with moderate discipline High in communication and negotiating Parents set and explain rules. Maturity expectations are moderate.
Effects on Children Children of authoritarian parents are likely to be moody, unhappy, fearful, withdrawn, unspontaneous, and irritable; this style promotes resentment and rebellion. Children of permissive parents tend to be more immature, impulsive, and aggressive, and they may never learn self-control Children of authoritative parents tend to be cheerful, socially competent, energetic, and friendly. They show high levels of self-esteem, self-reliance, and self-control
Suggestions for Being an Authoritative Parent 1. Let your children know that you love them. 2. Listen to your children. 3. Use induction to teach as you discipline. 4. Work with your child’s temperamental qualities. 5. Understand your child’s age-related cognitive abilities and limitations. 6. Don’t expect perfection, and learn to go with the flow.