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Chapter 6: Infancy (First 24 Months)

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1 Chapter 6: Infancy (First 24 Months)

2 Infancy (First 24 Months)
Chapter Objectives To identify important milestones in the maturation of the sensory and motor systems, and to describe the interactions among these systems during the first 2 years of life To define social attachment as the process through which infants develop strong emotional bonds with others, and to describe the dynamics of attachment formation during infancy

3 Infancy (First 24 Months)
Chapter Objectives (cont.) To describe the development of sensorimotor intelligence, including an analysis of how infants organize experiences and conceptualize causality To examine the nature of emotional development, including emotional differentiation, the interpretation of emotions, and emotional regulation

4 Infancy (First 24 Months)
Chapter Objectives (cont.) To analyze the factors that contribute to the resolution of the psychosocial crisis of trust versus mistrust, including the achievement of mutuality with the caregiver and the attainment of a sense of hope or withdrawal To evaluate the critical role of parents/caregivers during infancy with special attention to issues of safety in the physical environment; optimizing cognitive, social, and emotional development; and the role of parents/caregivers as advocates for their infants with other agencies and systems

5 Infancy (First 24 Months)
Newborns On average 7 to 7 1/2 pounds and 20 inches Low-birth-weight-babies: weigh 5 pounds 8 ounces or less Small for their gestational age: low weight for a given gestational age

6 Infancy (First 24 Months)

7 Infancy (First 24 Months)
The Development of Sensory/Perceptual and Motor Functions 5 Senses Hearing - Newborns can hear a wide variety of sounds, but they are more responsive to some than to others, such as the mother’s voice Vision Visual acuity, or fineness of discrimination, is limited for newborns, but improves rapidly within the first four months Infants have special appeal for the human face or ‘faceness’

8 Infancy (First 24 Months)
The Development of Sensory/Perceptual and Motor Functions (cont.) Taste and Smell - taste and smell preferences apparent at birth and may be at least partially functioning in utero Touch - fundamental means of interaction which enhances infants’ responsiveness to the environment Swaddling or wrapping a baby in a soft blank uses the tactile senses to soothe the baby

9 Infancy (First 24 Months)
The Development of Sensory/Perceptual and Motor Functions (cont.) The sensory/perceptual capacities function as an interconnected system to provide a variety of sources of information about the environment at the same time

10 Infancy (First 24 Months)

11 Infancy (First 24 Months)
Temperament Relatively stable characteristics or response to the environment that can be observed during the first months of life Significant source of individual differences which emerge from a combination of genetic, environmental, and socially construed factors Assessed by child’s positive or negative reaction to environmental events and the stability of this reaction, which leads to a patterned reaction by others

12 Infancy (First 24 Months)
Another View of Temperament Reactivity or the child’s threshold for arousal, which could be evidenced at the physiological, emotional, or motor level Self-regulation or behavioral inhibition that can be thought of as a continuum from bold or brazen to inhibited and cautious

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Case Study: The Cotton Family Thought Questions How would you describe Anna’s temperament? What problems might the Cotton family face if Anna had been a more passive, reserved, and inhibited child? In what ways was Anna being expected to adapt to the Cotton family lifestyle? What are some of the challenges Nancy and Paul faced as new parents? How did they cope with these challenges? How would you describe Nancy’s enactment of the mother role?

14 Infancy (First 24 Months)
Case Study: The Cotton Family (cont.) Thought Questions (cont.) Anna seems to be influencing the well-being of her mother, father, and her grandmother. What impact does Anna have on each of these family members?

15 Infancy (First 24 Months)
Attachment Process through which people develop specific, positive emotional bonds with others Parenting or caregiving is the nurturing responses of the caregiver to the child Synchrony, or interactions that are rhythmic, well-timed, and mutually rewarding establish attachments

16 Infancy (First 24 Months)

17 Infancy (First 24 Months)
The Development of Attachment Goal-corrected partnership or as the child becomes aware that other people have their own separate points of view, they begin to include the other person’s needs and goals into their plans Stranger anxiety develops during the second half the first year and is the baby’s discomfort or tension in the presence of unfamiliar adults

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The Development of Attachment (cont.) Separation anxiety occurs at about 9 months, and is when infants give another indication of the intensity of their attachment to their parents by expressing rage and despair when their parents leave

19 Infancy (First 24 Months)
Formation of Attachments with Mother, Father, and Others The amount of time the infant spends in the care of the person The quality and responsiveness of the care provided by the person The person’s emotional investment in the infant The presence of the person in the infant’s life across time

20 Infancy (First 24 Months)
Measuring the Security of Attachment: The Strange Situation A 20 minute period Child is exposed to a sequence of periods of separations and reunions with the caregiver How the child responds to these periods is used to assess their level of attachment to the caregiver

21 Infancy (First 24 Months)
Four Patterns of Quality of Attachment Secure Attachment - actively explore environment and interact with strangers while their caregiver is present Anxious-Avoidant Attachment - avoid contact with caregiver after separation or ignore their efforts to interact Anxious-Resistant Attachment - are very cautious in the presence of a stranger and their exploratory behavior is noticeably disrupted by the caregiver’s departure; upon return of the caregiver, the child is very hard to comfort

22 Infancy (First 24 Months)
Four Patterns of Quality of Attachment (cont.) Disorganized Attachment - noticeable in the reunion sequence, infants have no coherent strategy for managing stress and behave in contradictory, unpredictable ways that seem to convey feeling of extreme fear or utter confusion

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Figure 6.3 Factors Contributing to Caregiver Sensitivity

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The Relevance of Attachment to Later Development The nature of one’s attachment influences expectations about the self, others, and the nature of relationships The formations of a secure attachment relationship is expected to influence the child’s ability to explore and engage the environment with confidence

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The Relevance of Attachment to Later Development (cont.) From a life-span perspective, the quality of the attachment formed in infancy influence the formation of later relationships (friends, romantic, and collegial) but is not the sole determinant Reactive Attachment Disorder - linked to serious disturbances in infant attachment Inhibited Type - the person is very withdrawn, hypervigilant in social contacts, and resistant to comfort

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The Relevance of Attachment to Later Development (cont.) Uninhibited Type - the person shows a lack of discrimination, being overly friendly and attaching to any new person

27 Infancy (First 24 Months)
Sensorimotor Intelligence and Early Causal Schemes: How Do Infants Organize their Experiences? Sensorimotor intelligence, or motor routine, that reflects organization Sensorimotor adaptation is Piaget’s chief mechanism governing the growth of intelligence during infancy Causality or the capacity to anticipate that certain actions will have specific effects on objects in the environment is based largely on sensory and motor experiences

28 Infancy (First 24 Months)

29 Infancy (First 24 Months)
The Nature of Objects Object Permanence - concept that objects in the environment are permanent and do not cease to exist when they are out of reach or view Precursors of Object Permanence - habituation tests of events have shown that object permanence develops earlier than Piaget thought, but the question still remains whether an infant’s visual response to hidden objects is evidence that object permanence exists long before Piaget expected

30 Infancy (First 24 Months)
The Nature of Objects (cont.) Object Permanence and Attachment - the scheme for the permanent object applies to both humans and inanimate objects, thus one reason babies experience separation anxiety is that they are uncertain whether a person to whom they are attached will continue to exist once out of sight

31 Infancy (First 24 Months)
The Categorization of Objects Fundamental element of information processing in which children treat certain individual objects as similar because they belong to the same basic grouping Four properties of physical objects Have a location, a path, and speed of motion Have mechanical properties that include how they move and their relation to other objects Have features, such as size, shape, and color Have functions (this is what objects do or how they are used)

32 Infancy (First 24 Months)
Figure 6.4 The Feedback System of Emotions Figure 6.4 The Feedback System of Emotions. Feedback loops in emotion show how sensory information is evaluated and translated into action or some other outcome that normalizes the relationship between the individual and the triggering event. The inner state perceived as fear may arise from a threat that is perceived as “danger”; the fear triggers an impulse to flee, which results eventually in a reduction of the threat.

33 Infancy (First 24 Months)

34 Infancy (First 24 Months)
Emotions as a Key to Understanding Meaning Provide a channel for determining the meaning the child is giving to a specific situation The Ability to Regulate Emotions One of the most important elements in the development of emotional regulation is the way caregivers assist infants to manage their strong feelings

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Emotions as a Channel for Adult-Infant Communication Emotions provide a two-way channel through which infants and their caregivers can establish intersubjectivity One of the most notable ways that infants and adults have of co-constructing their reality is the mechanism of social referencing

36 Infancy (First 24 Months)
The Psychosocial Crisis: Trust versus Mistrust Trust - refers to an appraisal of the availability, dependability, and sensitivity of another person and emerges in the course of a relationship as one person discovers those traits in another person Mistrust - can arise, during infancy, from at least three sources: infant wariness, lack of confidence in the caregiver, and doubt in one’s own lovableness

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The Central Process for Resolving the Crisis: Mutuality with the Caregiver Mutuality is a characteristic of a relationship and initially is built on the consistency with which the caregiver responds appropriately to the infant’s needs

38 Infancy (First 24 Months)
Coordination, Mismatch, and Repair of Interactions Coordination refers to two related characteristics on interaction - matching and synchrony Matching means that the infant and the caregiver are involved in similar behaviors or states at the same time Synchrony means that the infant and caregiver move fluidly from one state to the next

39 Infancy (First 24 Months)
Coordination, Mismatch, and Repair of Interactions (cont.) In normal mother-infant pairs, however, periods of mismatch are usually followed by communication repairs, so that infants and mothers cycle again through points of coordination in their interactions

40 Infancy (First 24 Months)
The Central Process for Resolving the Crisis: Mutuality with the Caregiver Establishing a Functional Rhythm in the Family The match or mismatch between an infant’s rhythms and the family’s rhythms is an important factor in the overall adjustment of a family to a new baby Parents with Psychological Problems The importance of reciprocal interactions in building trust and hope during infancy is highlighted by studies of parents with psychological problems

41 Infancy (First 24 Months)
The Prime Adaptive Ego Quality and the Core Pathology Hope - the first prime adaptive ego quality, hope, pervades the entire life story. It is a global cognitive orientation that one’s goals and dreams can be attained and that events will turn out for the best Withdrawal - a general orientation of wariness toward people and objects

42 Infancy (First 24 Months)
The Role of Parents Safety in the physical environment Fostering emotional and cognitive development Fathers’ and mothers’ parental behavior Parents as advocates The importance of social support

43 Infancy (First 24 Months)

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