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Socioemotional Development in Infancy

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Presentation on theme: "Socioemotional Development in Infancy"— Presentation transcript:

1 Socioemotional Development in Infancy
Chapter 6

Basic emotions, such as happiness, interest, surprise, fear, anger, sadness, and disgust, are directly inferred from facial expressions. An emotion or affect that can involve physiological arousal, conscious experience, or behavioral expression

3 What is the emotional state of this baby
What is the emotional state of this baby? Carroll Izard’s MAX System can be used to code

4 Emotions emerge in sequence
Social smile Evoked by the stimulus of the human face First appears between 4 and 6 weeks Anger, surprise, sadness First appears around 3 to 4 months in response to active stimuli. Shame: 6 to 8 months Contempt: 2 years

5 Negative Emotions Anger is expressed during the first months when babies cry in response to unpleasant experiences (4-6 months). Expressions of sadness are usually less frequent than anger. Fear rises during the second half of the first year. cause and effect stranger anxiety

6 Why is this baby crying? Could be out of anger, pain, or unknown reasons

7 Can babies imitate emotions? (Meltzoff)

8 Understanding and Responding to the Emotions of Others
Emotion Contagion (birth) Social referencing (~1 year) Infant relies on a trusted person's emotional reaction in an uncertain situation. By toddlerhood, children use emotional signals to infer others’ internal states and guide their own actions.

9 Emergence of Self-Conscious Emotions
At the end of the second year (18-24 months) Child needs to have a self-concept Injury to or enhancement of the sense of self Embarassment, guilt, envy, pride Helps children to acquire values of society

10 Beginnings of Emotional Self-Regulation
Emotional self-regulation refers to the strategies used to adjust emotional states to a comfortable level of intensity. Infants have only limited capacity to regulate their emotional states. By the end of the first year, babies’ ability to move around permits them to regulate feelings more effectively by approaching or retreating from various stimuli.

11 End of lecture 1

stable individual differences in quality and intensity of emotional reaction, activity level, attention, and emotional self-regulation. New York Longitudinal Study (Thomas & Chess, 1956) indicates Temperament predicts adjustment. Parenting can modify emotional styles.

13 Structure of Temperament
Easy child (40%) Quickly establishes regular routines in infancy, is generally cheerful, and adapts easily to new experiences Difficult child (10%) Irregular in daily routines, is slow to accept new experiences, and tends to react negatively and intensely Slow-to-warm-up child (15%) Inactive, shows mild reactions to stimuli, is negative, and adjusts slowly to new experiences

14 Measuring Temperament
Assessed through Parent interviews and questionnaires Behavior ratings by medical professionals or caregivers Direct researcher observation Physiological measures supplement these techniques. Heart rate, hormone levels, and EEG waves in the frontal cortex differentiate children with inhibited and uninhibited temperamental styles.

15 Genetic Influences Twin studies reveal that identicals are more similar than fraternals. About half the individual differences among us can be traced to differences in our genetic make-up. Ethnic and sex differences in early temperament exist, implying a role for heredity.

16 Environmental Influences
Differences in temperament are encouraged by cultural beliefs and practice. Parents encourage infant sons to be physically active and daughters to seek help and closeness. When one child in a family is viewed as easy, another is perceived as difficult.

17 Temperament and Child Rearing: The Goodness-of-Fit Model
Goodness-of-fit is an effective match between child-rearing environments and a child’s temperament, leading to healthy adjustment. Difficult infants are less likely than easy babies to receive sensitive care.

18 Goodness-of-fit: person X environment interaction
Irritable Baby Parenting: Unstable Stable Baby: More Fussy Less Fussy Parent: Poor coping Good coping Toddler: Negative Happy Fussy Calm

19 Personality Development
Erikson Basic trust versus mistrust Dilemma is resolved positively if caregiving is sympathetic and loving. Erikson Autonomy versus Shame and Doubt Resolved positively if parents provide suitable guidance and appropriate choices


21 Personality Development
Development of the Self Emergence of the I-Self and the Me-Self I-self—the sense of self as subject, or agent, who is separate from but acts on other objects and people. me-self—a reflective observer that considers the self an object of knowledge and evaluation (during 2nd year). Development of the me-self permits toddlers to compare themselves to other people. Self-awareness is accompanied by empathy

22 Watson, 1972: “The Game”

23 What about completely obeys you?
What is a relationship like in which the other person completely ignores you? What about completely obeys you?

24 Emergence of Self-Control
Self-control is the capacity to resist an impulse to engage in socially disapproved behavior. The first signs of self-control appear as compliance—voluntary obedience to adult requests and commands.


26 Harry Harlow & Rhesus Monkeys

27 Attachment theory Emotional bonds between people have adaptive significance, develop through an interactional history, and influence personality development History: Spitz and WWII orphans; Harry Harlow and rhesus monkeys; Lorenz and his ducks; Genie and deprivation; sabre-tooth tigers Bowlby: Attachment, Separation, and Loss The nature of emotional bond between the infant and the caregiver

28 John Bowlby: Self and other as a secure base

29 Young infants need caregivers for contact, security, and distress resolution
Separation anxiety: distress when left alone Distress when strangers or other threats are around Social referencing Categories of infant caregiver relationships can be described from how children depend on and act within relationships

30 Development of Attachment
Preattachment phase (birth to 6 weeks) Signals such as smiling and crying bring the baby into close contact. “Attachment-in-the-making” phase (6 weeks to 6-8 months) Respond differently to a familiar caregiver than to a stranger

31 Development of Attachment
“Clearcut” attachment (6 to 8 months to 18 months to 2 years) Attachment to caregiver is evident. Separation anxiety: Upset at the departure of a familiar caregiver Caregivers provide secure base from which they can explore.

32 Mary Ainsworth: Self, sensitivity, and security
Strange Situation Measures attachment between 1 and 2 years Involves short separations from and reunions with the parent

33 Patterns in Infancy: Ainsworth’s Strange Situation
Insecure-Avoidant (A): No distress or proximity-seeking, no distinction between mother and stranger, “Detached” Secure (B): Distress resolved, proximity-seeking Insecure-Resistant (C): Distress not resolved, ambivalent proximity-seeking, “Clingy babies” Insecure-Disorganised (D): Dazed, confused, and fearful (e.g., maltreated toddlers)

34 Maasi in africa: Attachment theory is cross-cultural

35 Development of Attachment
Formation of a reciprocal relationship (18 months to 2 years and on) Separation anxiety decreases.

36 Cultural Variations German infants show more avoidant attachment.
German parents encourage infants to be independent. German infants show more avoidant attachment. Japanese mothers rarely leave babies in the care of strange people. Japanese infants display more resistant attachment responses.

37 Quality of Caregiving Secure infants’ mothers respond promptly to infants, are positive, and handle babies tenderly. Insecure infants’ mothers dislike contact, handle them awkwardly, and are insensitive. Avoidant infants receive caregiving that is overstimulating and intrusive. Child abuse and neglect are associated with all three forms of insecure attachment. Quality of Daycare (Howe & Jacobs, 1995): Well trained stable staff, small group size/high adult:child ratio, structured day, high emphasis on interaction


39 Attachment in context Parental work status does not predict attachment
Emotional adjustment of the parent (e.g., family stress and conflict) is important Quality of non-parental care is important Relationship quality becomes internalizes and influences later adult and romantic relationships AAI: Dismissing, Autonomous, Preoccupied

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