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Emotional Development in the Early Years The Life Span Human Development for Healthcare Professionals, Chapter 4.

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Presentation on theme: "Emotional Development in the Early Years The Life Span Human Development for Healthcare Professionals, Chapter 4."— Presentation transcript:

1 Emotional Development in the Early Years The Life Span Human Development for Healthcare Professionals, Chapter 4

2 Emotions: Why do we have them? Survival Communication Cognitive influences – Phineas Gage matrix Mental Health – Emotional Intelligence

3 The Basic Emotions The basic emotions we are born with are: fear, sadness, happiness, anger, and surprise. – Other emotions it’s believed we have at birth include: distress, contentment, disgust, and interest. – How are emotions developed? Izard’s Differential Emotions Theory: emotions are are the direct product of the underlying neural processes related to each of the emotional expressions. (An evolution theory) Sroufe’s Development Position: emotions are not fully formed at birth and they develop from undifferentiated responses into more differentiated ones and finally in an integrated emotional repertoire. (A nurture theory)

4 Early Caregiver-Infant Interactions and Emotional Development Why do we take care of babies in the first place? – Releasers – Biologically predisposed? Emotional Regulation – Visual Cliff experiments and mother’s facial expressions – Tronick, Als, & Brazelton’s “Stiff-face” paradigm Other-directed coping behaviors: from baby to mother Self-directed coping behaviors: baby trying to cope with own feelings

5 Infants of Depressed Mothers Depressed caregivers typically do not show positive facial expressions to their infants – Often leads to: Most self-directed coping behaviors Higher levels of cortisol & higher heart rates – May lead to: Greater incidences of depression in the child?

6 Attachment: Early Social Relations Bonding: the process of a mother/father/caregivers forming a relationship with the infant, typically in the first hours after birth. Attachment: the process of forming a relationship with a caregiver used by an infant. Bonding  Attachment!!!

7 Attachment: Early Social Relations Erikson stated that attachment was a direct response to an infant learning how to trust his/her caregivers. Bowlby stated that attachment and bonding occurred to ensure the survival of the infant. – Separation anxiety – Stranger anxiety

8 Attachment: Early Social Relations Ainsworth found that infants form different types of attachments with their primary caregivers – Strange situation test Securely attached babies: show distress upon separation, but greet mother happily upon return Anxious Ambivalent (Insecurely Attached): distressed upon separation, resist mother on her return (show anger, approaching and resisting mother) Avoidant (Insecurely Attached): showed relatively low amounts of anxiety upon separation and fairly unresponsive upon reunion Disorganized/Disoriented (Insecurely Attached): upon reunion, both approach and push mother away.

9 Another theory on Bonding and Attachment Freud felt that babies became attached to their mother because she was the provider of food, and they did NOT attach to the father. Harlow felt this was incorrect and conducted his famous “terry-cloth” mother experiments.

10 Infant Temperament One of the most significant factors in attachment and bonding is the infant’s temperament, or their individual emotional and behavioral characteristics. – Common temperament styles include: fearfulness/reactivity, irritability/negative emotionality, activity level, positive affect, attention- persistence, and rhythmicity (how predictable the infant is).

11 Infant Temperament Where does temperament come from? – Assumed to be biological (for instance-reactivity) – Still mostly unstudied How is it related to parental caregiving? – Thomas & Chess (1977) Four types of babies as defined by their temperament: easy (about 40%), difficult (about 10%), slow-to-warm (about 15%), and undefined (35%) Followed the parents as well and found that parents of easy and undefined babies adapted easier than did parents of the other two groups. Perhaps it has something to do with how well the parents expectations were met.

12 Infant Temperament Does temperament play a role in the development of attachment relationships? – The better the fit between the infant/caregiver, the better the child’s temperament – Proneness to distress: the warmer, more supportive the mother, the less likely the baby is prone to distress – Class and Culture effects on temperament

13 Variations in Attachment Relationships Attachment with mothers and fathers: – typically, babies make primary attachments to mother, secondary to fathers/other caregivers. – Attachments to fathers are typically the same as with the mothers, but with other secondary caregivers, it’s often qualitatively different.

14 The Importance of Early Attachments Erikson and Bowlby both state that if a child has made secure attachments from birth they are more likely to grow up in a stable environment. This is not foolproof, however, and there are steps that need to be taken to maintain this type of relationship. It’s also been theorized that infants that have attached to both parents tend to lead more stable lives.

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