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Emotional Development and the Establishment of Intimate Relationships Chapter 11 Dr. Martha Pelaez.

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Presentation on theme: "Emotional Development and the Establishment of Intimate Relationships Chapter 11 Dr. Martha Pelaez."— Presentation transcript:

1 Emotional Development and the Establishment of Intimate Relationships Chapter 11 Dr. Martha Pelaez

2 An Overview of Emotional Development Displaying Emotions: The Development and Control of Emotional Expressions Most researchers agree that babies communicate a variety of feelings through their facial expressions and that each expression becomes a more recognizable sign of a particular emotion with age  Sequencing of Discrete Emotions At birth babies display interest, distress, disgust, and contentment Primary emotions normally appear by the middle of the first year Secondary emotions emerge in the second or third year, after children reach cognitive milestones such as self-recognition and have acquired standards for evaluating their conduct  More self-conscious and depends on cognitive development

3 An Overview of Emotional Development Displaying Emotions: The Development and Control of Emotional Expressions  Socialization of Emotions and Emotional Self-Regulation Begins very early, as parents model positive emotions for infants Parents attend carefully to and try to prolong their infant’s pleasant feelings Parents become less responsive to infant’s negative emotional displays By the end of the first year, infants develop simple strategies for regulating aversive arousal and make attempts to suppress their sadness or anger It is not until well into grade-school that children become proficient at complying with culturally defined emotional display rules  The ability to develop and control emotions is a slow and gradual process

4 An Overview of Emotional Development Recognizing and Interpreting Emotions  Infant’s ability to recognize and interpret others’ emotions improved dramatically over the first year  8 to 10 months infants are capable of social referencing  Ability to identify and interpret others’ emotions continues throughout childhood This is possible by cognitive development and by family conversations centering on the causes of one’s own and others’ emotions (empathy)

5 An Overview of Emotional Development Emotions and Early Social Development  Emotions play two important roles in an infant’s life The child’s emotional displays promote social contact with caregivers and help them to adjust their behaviors his or her needs and goals The infant’s ability to recognize and interpret others’ emotions serves an important knowledge function by helping the child to infer how she or he should feel, think, or behave in certain situations

6 Temperament and Development Hereditary and Environmental Influences on Temperament  Hereditary Influences Temperament implies a biological foundation for individual differences in behavior  A foundation that is genetically influenced and stable over time  Environmental Influences Environment also contributes heavily to temperament Shared environments influence positively toned temperamental attitudes (smiling, laughing) Nonshared environments influence negatively toned aspects of temperament (fear, anger)

7 Temperament and Development Five Main Attributes:  Activity Level  Irritability  Soothability  Fearfulness  Sociability

8 Temperament and Development Early Temperamental Profiles and Later Development  Infant temperament cluster in predictable ways Easy Temperament (40% of sample)- Easygoing children are even- tempered, are typically in a positive mood, and are quite open and adaptable to new experiences Difficult Temperament (10% of sample)- Difficult children are active, irritable, and irregular in their habits. Are slow to adapt to new persons or situations Slow to warm up temperament (15% of sample)- These children are inactive, moody, and are slow to adapt to new persons and situations  Temperament can change and it can change by the goodness of fit between parents and child  Behavioral inhibition tends to be a stable attribute and is genetically influenced

9 What are Emotional Attachments? John Bowlby defines attachment as the strong affectional ties that we feel with the special people in our lives Attachments are Reciprocal Relationships  Infants become attached to parents, and parents become attached to infants  Genuine emotional attachments build slowly from parent-infant interactions that occur over the first several months and can become highly intimate Establishment of Interactional Synchrony  Parent’s initial bonding with their infant builds in strength as they gear their behavior to the infant’s social signals and establish synchronized routines Exquisite interactions are pleasing for both parents and infants and strengthen attachments

10 How do Infants become Attached? The Growth of Primary Attachments  Infants pass through phases as they develop close ties with their caregivers Asocial phase: 0-6 weeks; infants respond in an equally favorable was to interesting social and nonsocial stimuli Phase of indiscriminate attachments: 6 weeks-6/7months; infants prefer social to nonsocial stimulation and protest when put down Phase of specific attachment: 7-9 months; infants are attached to one close companion  Attached infants become more curious and use their attachment as a secure base for exploration Phase of multiple attachments: period when infants are forming attachments to companions other than their primary attachment object

11 How do Infants become Attached? Theories of Attachment  Psychoanalytic and Learning Theory Propose that infants become attached to persons who feed them and gratify their needs Modern learning theorists believe that reinforcement is the mechanism responsible for social attachments  Cognitive-Developmental Theory Propose that the ability to form attachments depends on the infant’s level of cognitive development  Ethological Theory Proposes that humans have preadapted characteristics that predispose them to form attachments

12 How do Infants become Attached? Two Attachment-Related Fears of Infancy  Infants begin to display Stranger Anxiety and Separation Anxiety These two fears stem from  infants’ wariness of strange situations  Infants’ inability to explain who strangers are  Infants’ inability to explain the whereabouts of absent companions  These fears decline dramatically in the second year as toddlers mature intellectually and venture away from their secure bases to explore

13 Individual Differences in Attachment Quality Assessing Attachment Security  Strange Situation- Ainsworth’s popular assessment that is used to assess the quality of attachments that 1-2 year olds have formed series of eight episode separation and reunion episodes in which infants are exposed in order to determine the quality of their attachments  Attachment Q-set (AQS)- A versatile assessment that assesses ages 1-5 years old through observations or reports of the child’s attachment-related behaviors at home  Four attachment classifications have been identified: Secure, Resistant, Avoidant, and Disorganized/Disoriented

14 Individual Differences in Attachment Quality Cultural Variations in Attachment Classifications  The percentages of infants and toddlers who fall into the various attachment categories differ somewhat from culture to culture and seem to reflect cultural variations in child rearing  Parents around the world prefer that their infants from secure attachments and try to promote culturally valued forms of security

15 Factors that Influence Attachment Security Quality of Caregiving  Caregiving Hypothesis Secure attachments are the result of parents who are sensitive and responsive to their infants Insecure attachments are the result of parents who are inconsistent, neglectful, overintrusive, or abusive

16 Factors that Influence Attachment Security Infant Characteristics  Temperament Hypothesis Infant characteristics and temperamental attributes may also influence attachment quality by affecting the character of caregiver-infant interactions Temperaments are not merely reflections of infant temperament  Therefore an integrative viewpoint is more important Notion that caregiving determines whether attachments are secure or insecure And that child temperament determines the kind of insecurity displayed by a child who receives insensitive caregiving

17 Attachment and Later Development Long-Term Correlates of Secure and Insecure Attachments  Infants who have established secure primary attachments are likely to display more favorable developmental outcomes Infants who were securely attached at months are better problem-solvers, more complex and creative in their symbolic play, display positive emotions, and are more attractive to toddlers as playmates  The opposite is true for those who are insecurely attached Children can be influenced by the quality of their attachments for years to come  Attachments are stable over time  Secure attachment during infancy predicts intellectual curiosity and social competence later in childhood

18 Attachment and Later Development Why Might Attachment Quality Forecast Later Outcomes?  Infants develop Internal Working Models Cognitive representations of themselves and other people Used to interpret events and to form expectations about the character of human relationships  Parent’s Working Models Tend to correspond closely with the working models of their children  Children’s Working Models can change Secure attachments are no guarantee of positive adjustment later in life Insecure attachments are not an indication of poor life outcomes

19 The Unattached Infant Effects of Social Deprivation in Infancy and Childhood  Infants who are socially deprived or abused are likely to be: Withdrawn Apathetic Display intellectual deficits Behavior problems Reactive attachment disorders  Maternal Deprivation Hypothesis- Socially deprived infants develop abnormally because they have failed to establish attachments to a primary caregiver  Social Stimulation Hypothesis- Socially deprived infants develop abnormally because they have had little contact with companions who respond contingently to their social overtures  But infants display a strong capacity for recovery

20 Maternal Employment, Day Care, and Early Emotional Development Quality of Alternative Care  Once feared that regular separations from working parents and placement into day care might prevent infants from establishing secure attachments Little evidence that this is true  An employed mother and alternative caregiving is fine when: Parents are sensitive and responsive caregivers when they are at home


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