Presentation on theme: "Temperament A person’s characteristic or stable way of responding, both emotionally and physically, to environmental events Seems to be present from birth."— Presentation transcript:
Temperament A person’s characteristic or stable way of responding, both emotionally and physically, to environmental events Seems to be present from birth
Thomas & Chess New York Longitudinal Study of 141 children starting in 1956 to study temperament over time. Found 3 main categories of temperament: easy (40%), difficult (10%), and slow-to-warm-up (15%). 35% did not fit neatly into any category.
Findings about temperament Temperament is not fixed and unchangeable. Need “goodness of fit” between parenting style and a child’s temperament. Difficult children are at risk of later behavioral problems if parents don’t respond sensitively and consistently to their needs. Cultural differences in how we value temperament.
Attachment Strong affectional ties between people; a close emotional relationship characterized by mutual affection and a desire to maintain proximity. Early mother-infant bonding (within hours of birth) does NOT appear to be crucial for a strong lasting attachment to occur.
Interactional synchrony Like a “conversational dance” –a mutual, interlocking pattern of attachment behaviors. Baby signals his needs, and parent responds appropriately. Easier to be in interactional synchrony with easy children. Kewpie doll syndrome—babies look cute, and parents are biologically programmed to respond to them.
Feeding and attachment Feeding is NOT the most important determinant of attachment to a caregiver. Harlow & Zimmerman (1959)—study with monkeys. Monkeys preferred the soft cloth mother over the wire mother, even if the wire mother was the one who fed them.
Strange Situations Test Designed by Mary Ainsworth to test a child’s attachment to the primary caregiver, usually the mother Given between 12-18 months of an age Consists of 9 strange situations (e.g., alone with Mom; with Mom and stranger; alone with stranger; completely alone, etc.)
Attachment Styles (Ainsworth) Secure—65%--use parent as a secure base from which to explore. Seek contact with parent when she returns; crying is reduced. Resistant—10%--fail to explore; inconsolable when Mom leaves but may push her away when she returns Avoidant—20%--unresponsive to parent; don’t care when she leaves or when she comes back Disorganized—5%--greatest insecurity; usually associated with neglect/abuse
How does a secure attachment style develop? One crucial ingredient for secure attachment is emotional availability on the part of the parent. “Contingent responsiveness” also important—parents need to be sensitive to baby’s cues and respond appropriately.
Development of avoidant and resistant attachment styles Avoidant: Mom could either reject infant or regularly withdraw from him/her; or she could be overly intrusive or stimulating, causing baby to withdraw Resistant: when primary caregiver is inconsistently or unreliably available to child Disorganized—when child is abused or if one of the parents has some unresolved trauma, such as abuse or the early death of a parent
How stable are attachment classifications? About 30% of children are securely attached to one parent and insecurely attached to the other. It’s the quality of each relationship individually that determines the security of the attachment to each parent. Security of attachment can change over time if the quality of the relationship changes in a major way. Usually thought to be stable by age 4 or 5 and generalizable to other relationships.
Attachment styles and romantic relationships Hazan and Shaver (1987) classified adults into secure, anxious-ambivalent (resistant), and avoidant. Securely attached people have the most loving, trusting, and longest-lasting romantic relationships. Avoidant—say that romantic love is hard to find; have a fear of closeness, jealousy, lack of acceptance Anxious-ambivalent—always searching for soul mate; emotional roller coaster, jealousy