Attachment - Infant caregiver interactions. - Coggle Diagram
Attachment - Infant caregiver interactions.
What is attachment?
A close two-way emotional bond between two individuals, in which each individual sees the other as essential for their own emotional security.
Attachment in humans takes a few months to develop.
their actions with the caregiver in a kind of conversation. - NON VERBAL COMMUNICATION.
ie: Smiling is an example of reciprocity – when a smile occurs in the infant it triggers a smile in the caregiver and vice versa.
Reciprocity refers to the process in which a behavior is matched during an interaction e.g. smiling back when someone smiles at us. Reciprocity develops, in its simplest form, at a very early age. According to Feldman (2007), reciprocity can be seen in interactions from 3 months of age. This conclusion was supported by Meltzoff & Moore (1997) who demonstrated that babies as young as 12-27 days would attempt to imitate facial and physical gestures.
Jaffe et al. said that from birth, babies move in a rhythm when interacting with an adult almost as if they were taking turns as people do when having a conversation.
Brazelton suggests this basic rhythm is an important precursor to later communications. The regularity of an infant's signal allows a caregiver to anticipate the infant's behaviour and respond appropairly.
Feldman and Eidelman 2007.
Mothers typically pick up on and respond to their baby's alertness around 2/3s of the time.
From three months onwards interactions become for frequent.
This is when two people interact and they tend to
what the other is doing in terms of their facial expressions and body movements. This includes imitating emotions as well as behaviours.
Interactional synchrony refers to how a parent's speech and infant's behaviour become finely synchronised so that they are in direct response to one another.
It was defined by Feldman (2007) as a “temporal coordination of micro-level social behaviour” and as “symbolic exchanges between parent and child”.
Andrew Meltzoff and Keith Moore 1977 conducted the first systematic study of interactional synchrony. They found that infants as young as two weeks old imitated specific facial and hand gestures.
Produce: An adult was told to show a series of actions and facial expressions to a baby. The baby had a dummy in its month to avoid any verbal response.
Findings: There was an association between the infant behavior and that of the adult.
Importance for attachment.
It is believed that interactional synchrony is important for development of caregiver-infant attachment.
Russell Isabella et al:
Observed 30 mothers and their babies together. They assessed the degree of interactional synchrony and the quality of mother - baby attachment.
High level of synchrony was associated with better quality mother-baby attachment.
The interactions between the caregiver and baby was filmed in a lab. Both mother and the infant are filmed from multiple angles. This recording can be later analysed in many ways.
The observations were covert
This means that in general the research has high internal validity; it is measuring what it intends to measure.
This allows us to make more valid conclusions from the findings
NOT interactional synchrony?
Jean Piaget 1962 argued that the infant wasn't debility copying the caregiver but instead the mirrored actions were a result of operant conditioning.
ie: The infant might stick its tongue out after seeing the caregiver do this. The consequence is that the caregiver gives smiles, equalling a positive experience for the infant - see it as a reward and encourages it to do it again.
Problems with testing infants.
Infant's month is often moving ie: smiling and yawing. Therefore, it can be hard to distinguish between general activity and specific imitated behaviour.
This is a weakness because we cannot know for certain that behaviours seen in mother-infant interactions have a special meaning
Overcame by Meltoff and Moore who videotaped the infants and asked a person to judge their behaviour. The person had no idea what they were imitating. This increased internal validity of the data .
Failure to replicate.
Koepke et al 1983 tried to recreate the findings of Meltoff and Moore but failed to do so. Suggesting that the evidence supporting caregiver- infant interactions is unreliable.
Found that babies who demonstrated a lot of imitation for a young age had better relationships at three months old.
Observations don’t tell us the purpose of synchrony and reciprocity.
A problem with this explanation of caregiver-infant interactions is that it is not found in all cultures.
Le Vine et al (1994) reported that Kenyan mothers have little physical interactions or physical contact with their infants, but such infants do have a high proportion of secure attachments.
Therefore, the research may be ethnocentric and ignores how attachments may be formed within other cultures.
Reduces the validity of research as not all cultures can be taken into account.