developmental psychology n.
Skip this Video
Loading SlideShow in 5 Seconds..
Download Presentation

Loading in 2 Seconds...

play fullscreen
1 / 65


  • Uploaded on

DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY . WEEK ONE What is developmental psychology? Influences on development Early socialisation WEEK TWO Development of attachments WEEK THREE The effects of deprivation and separation. What is developmental psychology?. Historical and social background

I am the owner, or an agent authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of the copyrighted work described.
Download Presentation

PowerPoint Slideshow about 'DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY' - nuala

An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Presentation Transcript
developmental psychology
  • What is developmental psychology?
  • Influences on development
  • Early socialisation
  • Development of attachments
  • The effects of deprivation and separation
what is developmental psychology
What is developmental psychology?

Historical and social background

  • Study of development motivated by social and economic changes
  • Industrial revolution in 19thC led to need for basic literacy and numeracy in factories
  • Important to study mind of child so that education could be more effective
  • Social factors e.g. better hygiene and control of childhood diseases
what is developmental psychology1
What is developmental psychology?

Historical and social background

  • Adolescence as a distinct stage between childhood and adulthood defined by biological, historical and cultural changes.
  • Western society became wealthy enough to protect child from adult responsibilities and increased period of education
  • Social and medical advances have led to people living longer and in better health, raises important issues about the psychology of ageing
what is developmental psychology2
What is developmental psychology?
  • Developmental psychology concerned with the scientific understanding of age-related changes in experience and behaviour

Four categories:

  • Physical- development of anatomy and physiology.
  • Cognitive (or intellectual)- concerned with the development of cognitive processes e.g. perception, attention, language, memory and thinking (problem-solving)
  • Social- looks at socialisation, child-rearing practices, groups and peer group influences
  • Emotional- related to social development, also personality, temperament and identity.

Categories interdependent e.g. social changes occur in parallel with physical changes in adolescence

what is developmental psychology3
What is developmental psychology?

Lifespan development

  • Infancy
  • Childhood
  • Adolescence
  • Adulthood
  • Old age
  • Development a continuous and dynamic process.
  • Transition from one stage to the next always very gradual and difficult to detect on a daily basis.
  • Physical maturity= development complete?
influences on development
Influences on development

Biological influences

  • ‘Genetic blueprint’ = programmed physical and physiological development for individual (maturation) which starts at conception
  • Progressive rate of development same for all children (within a range) and is genetically programmed.
  • Motor skills and behaviours can only be developed and learned when individuals are maturationally, or biologically, ready.

Jean Piaget suggested that maturation might be more important than motivation in learning.

influences on development1
Influences on development

Environmental influences

‘The childhood shows the man, as morning shows the day’ Milton

  • Importance of early experiences in development
  • Family, school, culture
  • How early do these experiences exert an influence e.g. is a mother’s behaviour while child in the womb important ?
  • Nature-nurture debate
  • Development occurs through an interaction of biological factors (genetic programming) and social factors (quality of the environment)
  • Discuss
early socialisation
Early Socialisation
  • Much of infants’ early learning is in the area of social development-two important aspects of this learning are sociability and attachment.
  • Sociability: the tendency to interact in a friendly and positive way with other people
  • Attachment: a fairly strong and long lasting emotional tie to one person
  • Important to study the processes involved in the development of sociability and attachment.
  • Activity: In pairs, spend 5 minutes or so discussing the following questions:
  • Why are these forms of learning so important early on?
  • What factors do you think influence the development of sociability and attachment?
early socialisation1
Early Socialisation


  • ‘the process by which a society’s behaviour patterns, standards and beliefs are transmitted from one individual to another.’ (Schaffer, 1995)
  • As children interact with, and become like other members of their culture, they acquire the knowledge, skills, motives and aspirations that should enable them to adapt to their environment and function effectively within their communities.


  • ‘a child’s willingness to engage others in social interaction, and to seek their attention or approval.’ (Schaffer, 1989)
  • general tendency to want and seek the company of others a prerequisite for the development of attachments
sociability with care givers
Sociability with care-givers
  • Signs of sociability (e.g. smiling, attention-seeking) begin from an early age (Durkin, 1995)
  • 2 day old infants can recognise their mothers (Bushnell, Sai and Mullin, 1989).
  • Two thirds of babies preferred their mother over a female stranger, indicating they had some ability to recognise their own mothers
  • Sociability of crucial importance in leading to close attachments with mother or other major care-giver
sociability with other infants
Sociability with other infants
  • From around the age of 2 months infants become interested in other infants
  • At about 6 months smile at other infants and make noises
  • By 1 year use gestures with other infants, imitate each other, and laugh in the presence of other infants (Vandell & Mueller, 1980)
  • Studies observe infants in the same room as their mother and another infant
  • Becker (1977) found that infants paid more attention to the other infant than to their mother or their toys
  • Social behaviour increases between the ages of 6-12 months as infants are developing physical, cognitive and language skills and are better able to communicate with each other
stage approach
Stage approach
  • Mueller and Lucas (1975) focused on early stages of the development of sociability and suggested 3 stages that infants go through
  • Object-centred stage: infants pay as much attention to toys as they do to each other
  • Simple interactive stage: infants more interested in other infants and will often try hard to influence the behaviour of another infant
  • Co-ordinated interactions stage (18mths>): infants gaze and smile at each other and start to co-operate to achieve common goals (e.g. games)
sense of self and sociability
Sense of self and sociability
  • Brownwelland Carriger (1990) argued that infants need to have some sense of self to reach the last stage of co-ordinated interactions.
  • Assessed sense of self in two ways:
  • Can infant recognise itself in a mirror? (put red lipstick on head and if child recognises self will touch head when looking in a mirror)
  • Can infants discriminate between pictures of themselves among pictures of other infants?
  • Results: found that infants began to have co-ordinated interactions at about the same time as they showed evidence of a sense of self
why are some children more sociable than others
Why are some children more sociable than others?
  • Ainsworth’s theory (1979):
  • Children who show secure attachment to their mother will tend to be more sociable than children who lack a secure attachment
  • Waters et al. (1979) assessed infants’ attachment behaviour at 15months and then social behaviour at 3 ½ years
  • Results: found that securely attached children were more sociable than those who were insecurely attached
  • E.g. more popular with other children, more sensitive to the feelings of other children, and more likely to initiate play activities
  • What do you think attachment means? How could we assess it?
parenting style
Parenting style
  • Parent’s style of playing with their children will affect how sociable they are with other children
  • Vandell and Wilson (1987) studied 9mth old infants.
  • Found that infants whose mothers allowed them to decide what to play were more responsive when playing with other infants
  • MacDonald and Parke (1984) studied children between the ages of 3 and 5.
  • Found that children who had unfriendly interactions with other children tended to have parents who controlled playmaking by giving commands and ignoring their wishes
  • Summary: children tend to be more sociable if parents do not control playmaking
genetic factors
Genetic factors
  • Sociability an important part of personality
  • About 30-40% of individual differences in most personality traits due to genetic factors (see Eysenck, chapter 27) .
  • Evidence from twin studies
  • Matheny (1983) assessed social smiling and fear of strangers in monozygotic (identical) twins and dizygotic (fraternal) twins
  • Twins tested at 18months and 24months of age. At both ages the identical twins were much more similar than the fraternal twins.
  • Summary: findings suggest that heredity partially determines sociability in infants.
  • In your own words, describe three factors that influence a child’s sociability. You should refer to research evidence in your answer.

What is an attachment and how does it develop?

  • An attachment is ‘a close emotional relationship between two persons, characterised by mutual affection and a desire to maintain proximity (closeness).’ (Schaffer, 1993)
  • The first attachment that infants form is seen as crucial for healthy development and serves as the model for all later attachments
  • First attachment usually occurs in early stages of development between mother and child.
  • Strong attachments can also be formed to other people with whom the infant has regular contact (Schaffer & Emerson, 1964) e.g. Father or other main care-giver.
  • First attachment is the starting point for lifelong social and emotional involvements with other people.

What is an attachment and how does it develop?

  • Research has shown that within days of birth a baby prefers a human face and responds to human sounds more than mechanical sounds
  • Newborn attachment behaviours include: crying, eye-contact, grasping and being soothed
  • Attachment behaviour develops more in the first 2-3months with smiling, reaching, arm-waving and by the 3rd month a baby can recognise a familiar face.
  • Stern (1977) showed that when a mother talked to her infant, he would look intently at her face. He would then make noises but stop and wait for her to speak (or make a noise). The two form a conversation by recognising cues from each other. This is an important part of the development of attachment, and of language, and is known as mutual reciprocity.
  • Up to 3months babies respond equally to any carer, then begin to respond to more familiar ones. From about 6-7months they begin to show a special preference for one or two people.

Measures of attachment

  • Schaffer and Emerson (1964) studied the development of attachments using three different measures:
  • Fear of strangers: the response of an infant to the arrival of a stranger, whether or not the mother is present
  • Separation anxiety: the amount of distress shown by a child when separated from the mother, and the degree of comfort and happiness shown when they are reunited.
  • Social referencing: the degree to which a child will look to an attached figure to see how he or she responds to something new.
  • Ainsworth and Bell (1970) incorporated these measures into the Strange Situation procedure used on infants at around 12months old.
  • Child’s reactions to the stranger, separation from the mother and to being re-united with its mother are all recorded in eight different episodes.

Schaffer and Emerson (1964): Stages of attachment

  • 1) Asocial stage (0-6weeks): smiling and crying not directed at any specific individuals
  • 2) Indiscriminate attachment (6weeks-7months): infant seeks attention from different individuals, and is generally content when he or she receives attention. Does not matter who is holding the baby, smiles at anyone and protests when put down, whoever is holding them.
  • Specific attachment (7mths-1 year): develops one specific attachment, usually to the mother. Fear of strangers and separation anxiety are intense for about 3-4 months.
  • Multiple attachments (1 year onwards): can develop strong attachments to other people important in their life.
  • Strength of attachment due to ‘sensitive responsiveness’ that the carer shows to the infant rather than the amount of time spent with the infant.

How do attachments vary?

  • Infants vary in terms of the quality of the attachment bond between them and their attachment figure
  • Research shows that attachments can be weak or strong, insecure or secure.
  • Ainsworth et al, (1971, 1978) measured the quality of attachment using the Strange Situation procedure.
  • Infants placed in a playroom and behaviour observed during eight different episodes
  • Infant’s reactions to these episodes allow it to be placed in one of three categories

The eight episodes in the ‘Strange Situation’:

  • Mother, Infant, Observer; 30 secs; mother and infant introduced to the play room.
  • Mother, Infant; 3mins; Mother and infant left alone to explore room.
  • Stranger, Mother, Infant; 3mins; Stranger enters and talks with mother. Stranger gradually approaches infant.
  • Stranger, Infant; 3mins or less; Mother leaves and stranger interacts with infant
  • Mother, Infant; 3mins or more; mother returns, greets and comforts infant
  • Infant; 3mins or less; infant left alone
  • Stranger, infant; 3mins or less; stranger returns and attempts to interact with infant
  • Mother, infant; 3mins; mother returns, greets and picks up infant.

3 categories of attachment type:

  • Secure attachment (type B): infant content when mother present and explored playroom but distressed in her absence and greeted her positively on her return. Stranger provided little comfort in absence of the mother but infant friendly towards them in presence of mother. Clear difference in the infant’s reactions to the mother and to the stranger. Mothers described as sensitive. Approx 70% of American infants show secure attachment.
  • Anxious-avoidant attachment (type A): infant does not seek contact with the mother, and shows little distress when separated from her. Infant avoids contact with the mother upon her return. The infant treats the stranger in a similar way to the mother, often avoiding him or her. Approx 20% of American infants display this attachment type of behaviour.
  • Anxious-resistant attachment (type C): infant seems unsure of their mother. Showed intense distress when she was absent but rejected her when she returned. These infants also showed resistance towards the stranger. These mothers appeared to behave ambivalently towards their infants. Approx 10% of American infants are resistant.

Ainsworth’s (1982) care-giving hypothesis :

  • Sensitivity of mother to infant’s needs and consistency of behaviour of crucial importance.
  • Mothers of securely attached infants very sensitive to their needs and responded to their infants in an emotionally expressive way.
  • Mothers of resistant infants interested, but often misunderstood their infants’ behaviour. Importantly, these mothers were inconsistent in the way they treated their infants.
  • Mothers of avoidant infants behaved in two different ways. Many were uninterested, often rejecting them and tending to be self-centred and rigid in their behaviour. Others acted in a suffocating way, always interacting with their infants even when the infant did not want any interaction.
  • A strong early attachment provides a secure base for social development.
  • Early attachment behaviour should predict later social and emotional development.
  • Criticisms of Ainsworth’s study
  • Small sample size
  • Cultural bias
  • Low ecological validity
  • Placed infants in stressful situation
  • Only mother used as attachment figure
  • Yet, much research to support the care-giving hypothesis (Durkin, 1995) particularly emphasising the importance of maternal sensitivity and interaction style.
  • Strange situation test useful procedure for studying socio-emotional development in infancy and evidence suggests that secure attachment appears to predict future social competence (Stroufe et al, 1983)
  • Challenges to Ainsworth
  • Bates, Maslin and Frankel (1985) found that attachment style at 12 months did not predict the presence of behavioural problems at 3 years of age.
  • Vaughn et al (1980) have shown that attachment may change depending on variations in the family circumstances suggesting that attachment types are not a permanent characteristic.
  • Main and Solomon (1986) argued that a small number of children displayed a fourth type of attachment referred to as disorganised (type D). These children show inconsistent behaviour, confusion and indecision and generally act as if the attachment figure and environment is fear-inducing.
  • Temperament hypothesis: many have criticised the care-giving hypothesis as it over emphasises the role played by the care-giver and ignores the part played by the infant. Innate differences in temperament or personality could influence the quality of attachment (Kagan, 1984). Children with a difficult temperament may have problems developing attachments (Larsen & Deiner, 1987).
  • Seifer et al (1996) carried out longitudinal study on infants at 6, 9, and 12 months of age. Key finding: ‘Maternal sensitivity was…unrelated to strange situation classification.
  • Cross-cultural variations in attachments
  • Behaviour, attitudes, norms and values differ across cultures. Relationship between infants and care-givers will vary across cultures because of different child-rearing styles and beliefs about which qualities should be nurtured.
  • Results of 32 Strange Situation studies (UK, USA, Germany, Japan, China, Japan, Sweden, Netherlands and Israel) summarised by Van Ijzendoom and Kroonenberg (1988)
  • Considerable consistency in overall distribution of attachments across cultures. Secure attachment most common type.
  • Significant differences in distribution of insecure attachments. In Western culture dominant insecure type anxious-avoidant, in non-Western cultures, anxious-resistant. In China, both insecure types equally distributed.
  • Key finding: variation within cultures 1 and a half times greater than variation between cultures.
  • Theories of attachment: The Psychodynamic approach
  • Freud (1924) ‘The reason why the infant in arms wants to perceive the presence of its mother is only because it already knows by experience that she satisfies all its needs without delay. ‘
  • Mother a source of food, comfort and warmth, already experienced in the womb.
  • Theory of psychosexual development: first stage oral stage lasting till 18months. Infant experiences satisfaction through oral experiences..
  • Unhealthy attachments develop when infants deprived of food and oral pleasure.
  • Freud argued that adult personality depends on childhood experiences and the mother’s status was ‘established unalterably for a whole lifetime as the first and strongest love object and as the prototype for all later love-relations.
  • Emphasis on breast-feeding
  • The Psychodynamic approach: Evaluation
  • Hypothesis: Is attachment dependent on the provision of food?
  • Study: Harry Harlow (1959): carried out experiments with very young rhesus monkeys separated from their mothers.
  • Method:Monkeys placed in a cage with two ‘surrogate mothers’ constructed from wire mesh cylinders, each with a face. One was wrapped with towelling for contact comfort and the other was bare wire.
  • Milk provided by wire mother for some of the monkeys, and provided by cloth mother for the others.
  • All of the monkeys spent most of their time on the cloth mother even when she did not supply milk.
  • In later life monkeys were indifferent or abusive to other monkeys and had difficulty with mating and parenting.
  • Conclusion: innate need for contact comfort as basic as the need for food, but preferable to food comfort.
  • Schaffer and Emerson (1964) also found that infants were more likely to become attached to adults who were responsive to them, than those who provided only care-giving duties.
learning theory
Learning Theory
  • Basic principle of learning theory is that all behaviour is learned as a result of either classical or operant conditioning.
  • Classical conditioning related to primary drives such as hunger, thirst. Involves naturally occurring reactions known as a reflex. E.g. Pavlov’s dogs.
  • Infants born with innate reflex responses (e.g. rooting, sucking, swallowing)
  • Attachment explained as person providing the food becomes associated with the food (e.g. the bell in Pavlov’s experiment) and the conditioned response (pleasure).

Operant conditioning (Skinner) related to secondary drives. Any behaviour which is reinforced (e.g. rats pressing a lever were rewarded with food) will be associated with the consequence and hence is more likely to be repeated.

  • Infants attachment to it’s mother may involve a secondary drive that evolves as a result of the mother providing it with food. E.g. learn to associate smiling and close contact with mother and reward of food. Hence, this type of behaviour is repeated.
  • Yet Harlow’s study also challenges the learning theory explanation of attachment. Food not the sole explanation.
  • Social learning theory proposed by Hay and Vespo (1988) : attachment occurs because parents ‘deliberately teach their children to love them and to understand human relationships.’
  • How do parents achieve these goals?
  • Modelling: children learn to imitate the affectionate behaviour shown by their parents
  • Direct instruction: parents teach their children in a direct and explicit way to attend to them and to show affection
  • Social facilitation: parents watch their children carefully and provide assistance as and when necessary.
  • Has led to detailed consideration of the interactional processes that occur between parents and children.
  • Yet strong emotional intensity of attachment not really explained (Durkin, 1995)
  • Ethological theories of attachment
  • Attachment important as it ensures survival of the infant by keeping it close to its caregiver. Mother often the source of food in lactating mammals or provides suitable nourishment. Recognition of mother therefore has evolutionary value.
  • Konrad Lorenz (1937) studied the behaviour of Greylag geese and found that they follow the first moving object they see (usually the mother), 12-17 hours after hatching).
  • Process known asimprinting occurs during a short critical period and tends to be irreversible.
  • Lorenz believed that imprinting was switched on and off at the end of the critical period.
  • Imprinting occurs without any feeding taking place and challenges both the psychodynamic and learning theories of attachment.
  • Bonding process which occurs as a result of imprinting desirable for survival and future reproduction.
evolutionary theory bowlby 1953
Evolutionary Theory Bowlby (1953)
  • Attachment is biologically pre-programmed into children at birth
    • Encoded in the human genes
  • Evolves and persists because of its adaptiveness (i.e. it is evolutionarily useful)
  • Emphasis on bond between mother and infant and how this influences later personality formation.
  • Influenced by ethological concept of imprinting and Freud’s views of the importance of maternal care.

evolutionary theory
Evolutionary Theory
  • Infants emit social releasers, to which adults are biologically attuned
    • Physical appearance
    • Crying, smiling etc.
  • These stimulate caregiving from adults

evolutionary theory1
Evolutionary Theory
  • Infants are programmed to attach to whomever responds to their releasing stimuli
    • They select one special attachment figure (monotropy), who is used as a safe base for exploring the world
    • The primary attachment is the template for future social relationships
  • Critical period during which attachment must take place: ends at some point between 1 and 3 years of age.

  • Evidence for Bowlby’s theory
  • Klaus and Kennell (1976): sensitive period immediately after birth in which bonding can occur through skin to skin contact
  • Study: 2 groups of infants, one group had routine contact with mothers for feeding sessions in first three days of life, others had extended contact for several hours a day.
  • Mothers returned to hospital one month later: evidence that more bonding had occurred in the extended contact group. During feeding, extended-contact mothers cuddled and comforted their babies more and also maintained more eye contact with them. Difference in groups still evident one year later.
  • Durkin (1995) criticised Klaus and Kennell study. Mothers in original study mostly unmarried teenagers from disadvantaged backgrounds.
  • Cross cultural evidence: Lozoff (1983) found that mothers in cultures that encouraged early bodily contact between mother and baby were no more affectionate towards their babies than mothers from other cultures.
  • Also found that mothers in cultures which encourage breast-feeding did not show greater bonding with their babies than mothers in other cultures.
  • General view: relationship between mother and baby develops and changes over time rather being fixed shortly after birth
  • Bowlby’s monotropy hypothesis: infants form only one strong attachment, typically to the mother.
  • Schaffer and Emerson (1964) study.
  • Measured attachment using Strange situation procedure:
  • By 10 months of age: 59% of infants had formed more than one attachment.
  • By 18months: 87%.
  • Older infants were mainly attached to their mother although 30% were mainly attached to the father.
  • Few children only have a strong attachment to their mother as suggested by Bowlby.
effects of deprivation and separation
  • From his own research and from the studies of Goldfarb (1943) and Spitz & Wolf (1946) of children brought up in residential care and orphanages, Bowlby combined his theory of the critical period in attachment formation with his theory of monotropy to form his
  • maternal deprivation hypothesis:
  • = breaking the maternal bond during the early years of a child’s life is likely to have serious effects on its intellectual, social, and emotional development.
  • = Negative effects of maternal deprivation are permanent and irreversible.
effects of deprivation and separation1
  • Spitz (1945), Spitz and Wolf (1946): studied children raised in very poor South American orphanages. Staff over-worked and rarely talked to or held the children.
  • Findings: over one-third of children died before reaching their first birthday. Many of the children showed anaclitic depression = a state involving loss of appetite and resigned helplessness.
  • Goldfarb (1943):compared two groups of infants from a poor orphanage. One group had spent a few months there before being fostered, the other group consisted of infants who had spent three years there before fostering.
  • Findings: Both groups tested at various times up till the age of 12. Infants in the group who had spent three years at the orphanage did less well than the others, were less socially mature, and were more likely to be aggressive.
  • Do these findings provide evidence for Bowlby’s theory? Children suffered from a lack of stimulation and attention as well as maternal deprivation.
effects of deprivation and separation2
  • Maternal Deprivation occurs when a child is separated from the mother. If the mother- infant attachment is broken in the first years of life, the child’s emotional and intellectual development will be permanently harmed.
  • Study: Bowlby (1944) 2 groups of 44 juveniles. Group 1 contained juvenile thieves and Group 2 contained juveniles who were emotionally disturbed but had no known criminal record.
  • Bowlby investigated the early years of all the juveniles and found that half of group 1 had been separated from their mother for longer than six months before they reached the age of 5. Only two of the juveniles in group 2 had experienced this type of separation.


  • 32% of the juvenile thieves showed ‘affectionless psychopathy’that is they displayed a lack of guilt and remorse. Unable to care about or feel affection for others.
  • 64% of these had experienced deprivation in early childhood.
  • Bowlby concluded that anti-social behaviour of the Group 1 juveniles was due to maternal deprivation. Criticisms?
effects of deprivation and separation3
  • Rutter (1981): Bowlby’s finding should be reinterpreted due to important difference between deprivation and privation.
  • Deprivation: occurs when child has formed an important attachment, but is then separated from that attachment figure.
  • Privation: occurs when a child has never formed a close relationship with anyone.
  • Juvenile delinquents in Bowlby’s study had experienced several changes of home and principal care-giver during their early childhood. Rutter argued that their later problems were due to privation rather than deprivation.
  • Rutter concluded that privation leads to ‘an initial phase of clinging, dependent behaviour, followed by attention-seeking, uninhibited, indiscriminate friendliness and finally a personality characterised by lack of guilt, an inability to keep rules and an inability to form lasting friendships.’
short term effects of maternal deprivation
Short-term Effects of Maternal Deprivation
  • Occur when the child is separated from any attached figure and these last a few months.
  • Robertson and Bowlby (1952) studied young children, separated from their mother for some time, often because she had gone into hospital.
  • 3 different behaviours shown in young children:
  • Distress- the child cries, protests and shows physical agitation
  • Despair - the child is miserable and listless
  • Detachment- the child seems to have accepted the situation and shows little interest when reunited with the attached figure.
  • Not all children go through the 3 stages and there are differences between them in terms of how much distress is experienced.
short term effects of maternal deprivation1
Short-term Effects of Maternal Deprivation
  • Stacey et al. (1970) -‘good’ previous separations help the child to cope with subsequent separations and to become more independent and self-sufficient.
  • Robertson and Robertson (1971) - if steps taken to minimise distress such as becoming familiar with new surroundings before separation takes place and sticking to established daily routine then children show less distress.
  • Rutter (1972) - during a separation, child is often in a strange environment, with strange routines and strange people. Importance of familiar objects. A child who has experienced a happy separation will show much less distress in unhappy separations, for example, a hospital stay.
how can studies on the short term effects of maternal deprivation be applied
How can Studies on the Short-term Effects of Maternal Deprivation be Applied?
  • Importance of good quality day care:
  • Mayall and Petrie (1977)studied 39 registered child-minders in inner London.
  • - found that quality of care varied considerably. In some settings, although the child’s physical needs were adequately met, there was little evidence of stimulation or involvement with the children.
  • Findings: these children showed less security than at home, and lower intellectual abilities than would be expected.
effects of deprivation and separation4
  • Kagan et al (1980) - looked at children who were in day care for 7 hours a day, 5 days a week, over 5 years (longitudinal study). The children were tested at intervals for cognitive development, social development and attachment to the mother.
  • Results: no difference between the day care children when they were compared to a control group of children cared for at home provided that the day care facilities:
  • were staffed by experienced carers with frequent and lengthy personal contact between child and adult
  • had good child-to-child carer ratio with low staff turnover and familiar routines
  • had appropriate equipment and stimulating activities.
  • Conclusion: good quality day care has no serious negative effect on children’s development.
effects of deprivation and separation5
  • So what are the Effects of Poor Quality Day Care?
  • Howes (1990)studied children entering poor quality day care before the age of 12 months, and who stayed there throughout the pre-school period.
  • They were then assessed at school. Teachers rated these children as being easily distracted, with difficulties focusing on an activity and becoming involved in it. They were also less considerate of others, than children who had not experienced day care.
  • Conclusions - poor quality day care is associated with a lack of the skills necessary for cognitive development, and poor social relationships with other children.
long term effects of deprivation privation
Long Term Effects of Deprivation/Privation
  • Rutter (1981) suggested that the effects of deprivation depend on the precise reasons for the separation.
  • - studied boys between 9 and 12 years of age who had experienced a separation when they were much younger.
  • Found that well-adjusted boys separated because of factors such as housing problems or physical illness. Maladjusted boys separated because of problems with social relationships within the family.
  • Read Hodges & Tizard (1989) on p.18 of the textbook and summarise the aim, method, results, conclusion and evaluation.
effects of deprivation and separation6
  • A few researchers have looked at the effects of very extreme privation and isolation on children:
  • Koluchova (1976) studied identical twins in Czechoslavakia who had spent most of the first seven years of their lives locked in a cellar. The twins were barely able to talk and relied on hand gestures rather than speech. The twins were fostered at about age 9 and by the age of 14 their behaviour was essentially normal.
  • Curtiss (1989) reported the case study of Genie who spent most of her life locked in a room at her home. She had very little contact with anyone and was discouraged from making any sounds. She was found in 1970 aged 13 years.
  • Genie was unable to speak and did not understand language.
  • After considerable education she was able to perform tasks which did not require language. Her language skills did not reach normal adult levels.
  • evidence indicates most of the adverse effects of maternal deprivation or privation can be reversed, and that children are more resilient than Bowlby believed.
  • However, the case of Genie suggests that the ability to develop language skills may be partially lost if language development is held back during early childhood.
development of child rearing and parenting skills
Development of Child-Rearing and Parenting Skills
  • Different styles of parenting affect the biology, growth, health, cognitive development and psychological well-being of the child.
  • The interaction of different styles of child-rearing was studied by Baumrind (1972):
  • Three main styles were found:
  • Permissive parenting - high in nurturance, low in parental expectation, control and communication.
  • Authoritarian parenting - high in control and expectation but low in nurturance and communication
  • Authoritative parenting - high on all four characteristics.
development of child rearing and parenting skills1
Development of Child-Rearing and Parenting Skills
  • Steinberg and Dornbusch (1992) carried out a longitudinal study of high school children in the US. Concluded that:
  • Children are affected by parental style and this may persist into adulthood
  • Children respond positively to parents who are both affectionate and firm (authoritative)
  • Parental styles and peer groups interact with the dominant culture in which the child develops.
cultural variation
Cultural Variation
  • Konner (1977) reported that in Botswana the Zhun/twasi people hardly ever let their babies cry. This seems to be because the infants live in the same room as the rest of the family. As a result, the infants are breast-fed at the slightest sign of distress.
  • Parents can exercise varying degrees of discipline in child rearing. American and Western children see harsh discipline and strict control as hostile and rejecting.
  • Conversely, for Japanese and Korean children this behaviour is seen as a sign that the parents care. If however, these children are then exposed to the more permissive parenting, their perception changes.
cultural values
Cultural Values
  • Individualistic cultures (e.g. UK, USA) focus on personal achievement, whereas collectivistic cultures (e.g. China) focus on group effort and co-operation.
  • Parents in collectivistic societies tend to be relatively demanding, because they want their children to become co-operative and obedient members of society.
  • Parents in individualistic societies tend to be permissive, to encourage their children to become independent.
social variation
Social Variation
  • It is possible that the socio-economic status of families may affect different patterns of child rearing. This may be due, in part, to the parental expectations for their child’s future job.
  • Working-class parents are more likely to emphasise obedience, neatness and good manners (Kohn, 1977) but the children are less likely to be confident about their future.
  • Middle class parents have higher expectations for their children’s future and the children tend to develop a more positive and optimistic attitude.
  • Health visitors and social workers should be able to identify parents who are struggling with parenting or children who are showing evidence of neglect. Such parents could be introduced to experienced parents in the relaxed setting of a parent and toddler group where they can observe good parenting skills (see p.23-26 for more info on parenting skills).
  • Activity: Read p.20-23 and answer the two questions that follow.