EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT • Considerable evidence seem to suggest that basic human emotions may occur as early as one month of age and continue to develop throughout infancy and early childhood: • Interest • Surprise • Joy • Anger • Fear
Secondary Emotions • Later in the second year of life, children develop: • Embarrassment • Shame • Guild • Envy • Pride These emotions imply an initial awareness of self and competencies in relation to others
How do these emotions develop? • Children initially look to their parents for feedback and emotional confirmation. When parents demonstrate positive emotions thru smiles, children are likely to internalize those emotions and behaviors. • Social referencing starts in infants as early as 7 months • When they get older (2 yrs), they look to their peers or others for information as to an ambiguous event or experience. • This is known as social referencing. • Three year olds are better at expressing their emotions and communicating. • Parents who effective process children’s emotions develop children with greater social competence (prosocial behavior, problem-solving skills, and mastery orientation) • What about cultural differences as a function of emotional expression? • What of the ability of emotional self regulation?
Development of Empathy • Empathy. • The ability to experience the same emotions that someone else is experiencing. • Children become better understand the emotions of others around age 4 and 5. • Between ages 6 to 9, children begin to understand that people can experience multiple emotions at one time
TEMPERAMENT AND DEVELOPMENT • Temperament. A person’s characteristic modes of responding emotionally and behaviorally to environmental events, including such attributes as activity level, irritability, fearfulness, and sociability. • Hereditary influences. • Twin studies (identical vs. fraternal) have provided convincing evidence to temperament being based on genetic influences. • Environmental influences. • Home environment has been found to be impactful on temperament.
Parameters of Temperament • Activity Level • Irritability/Negative Emotionality • Soothability • Fearfulness • Sociability
Temperament • Generally speaking, temperament is found to be relatively stable over time and often seen as the cornerstone of human personality development. Researchers (Thomas and Chess, 1977) identified Temperament profiles • Easy Temperament. • Easygoing children are even-tempered, are typically in a positive mood, and are quite open and adaptable to new experiences. Their habits are regular and predictable. • Difficult Temperament. • These children are active, irritable, and irregular in their habits. They often react very vigorously to changes in routine and are very slow to adapt to new persons or situations. • Slow-to-warm-up Temperament. • These children are quite inactive, somewhat moody, and can be slow to adapt to new persons and situations. They typically respond to novelty in mildly negative ways
Emotional Attachment • According to John Bowlby (1969), attachment is the strong affectional connection that we feel with the special people in our lives. • Bowlby stressed that parent-infant attachments are reciprocal relationships • Synchronized routines. • Generally harmonious interactions between two persons in which participants adjust their behavior in response to their partner’s feelings or actions.
Schaffer and Emerson’s Phases of Attachment • Asocial. Infants respond in an equally favorable way to interesting social and nonsocial stimuli. • Phase of indiscriminate attachment. Infants prefer social to nonsocial stimulation and are likely to protest whenever any adult puts them down or leaves them alone. • Phase of specific attachment. Infants are attached to one close companion (usually the mother). • Secure base. Use of a caregiver as a base from which to explore the environment and to which to return for emotional support. • Phase of multiple attachments. Infants are forming attachments to companions other than their primary attachment object.
Theories of Attachment • Psychoanalytic. • Learning. • Cognitive. • Ethological.
Mary Ainsworth • Developed an assessment of strange situations for infants 1 to 2 years olds. Developed eight natural infant-caregiver scenarios to assess infant’s behaviors in strange situations. • Secure. An infant-caregiver bond in which the child welcomes contact with a close companion and uses this person as a secure base from which to explore the environment. • Resistant. An insecure bond, characterized by strong separation protest and a tendency of the child to remain near but resist contact initiated by the caregiver, particularly after a separation. • Avoidant. An insecure bond characterized by little separation protest and a tendency of the child to avoid or ignore the caregiver. • Disorganized/Disoriented. An insecure bond, characterized by the infant’s dazed appearance on reunion or a tendency to first seek and then abruptly avoid the caregiver.
Cultural Variations in Attachment Classifications • In Northern Germany, parents encourage their children to be more independent and discourage close contact and clinging behaviors. • In Japan, infants indicate strong resistance to being separated from their parents.
Risk Factors for Poor Attachments • Depression in Parents. • Insensitive Parents/Parents with unresolved life experiences or issues. • Parents who experience unplanned pregnancies.