According to Bowlby (1973) a strong emotional bond between the mother figure and the infant called attachment has the biological origin. He hypothesised that for the baby to survive, it has to for an attachment, it needs to have a secure base, from which it can explore the environment and in times of danger or distress, a base it can return to for comfort and security. Bowlby argued that lack of such a secure base leads to infant developing an extreme distress called by developmental psychologists a 'separation anxiety'. The research by Robertson and Robertson (1989) into parent-child separations when either a primary caregiver or a child becomes hospitalized validates Bowlby's reasoning. This idea of attachment as innate adaptation mechanism is also supported by Harlow's (1958) research on primates into maternal deprivation.
Every child must pass through the so-called psycho-sexual stages; how a child experiences these stages plays a crucial role in the development of his/her personality. A child who becomes fixated at the oral stage may have an oral receptive personality and be very trusting and dependent on others, or he may develop an oral aggressive personality and become aggressive and dominating as an adult. The phallic personality type may be over-confident, vain and impulsive while the genital personality type become well-adjusted, mature, able to love and be loved. Therefore, the psychodynamic approach suggests that mental illness occurs as a result of psychological problems, not physical problems as suggested by the biological approach. A strength of the psychodynamic approach is that it reminds us that experiences in childhood can affect us throughout our lives without us being aware that it is happening.
Behavioural and Evolutionary theories of attachment in Psychology are two opposing ideas about the ways in which a child attaches to it's primary caregiver. In this essay I will demonstrate the differences between the two theories and use case studies to provide evidence for both the Behavioural and Evolutionary theories. The Evolutionary theory supports the Nature side of the argument, which basically suggests that attachment is something which is biologically pre-programmed into a child at birth. This means that an infant will emit something which is known as a 'social releaser' (e.g crying, smiling, laughing) because they know an adult will respond. However, the Behavioural theory is part of the Nurture debate, which suggests that attachment is a set of learned behaviours from the environment and is not something that a child is born with.
This means that this theory is much more valid and so can be applied to real life situations such as ensuring that a baby is immediately given to the mother after birth to ensure that they become attached. Having said this, this theory lacks historical validity. This is because it is sexist as it was put forward before the feminist movement in which women gained much more independence and no longer remained the primary caregiver. In the modern day there are many fathers who stay at home to take care of the infant while the mother goes out to work, these children do not always go on to form emotional problems. This shows that this theory needs to be altered slightly so as to apply to the modern day.
He also states that infants will form one bond that is more important than all others (Montrophy) and this is linked to the continuity hypothesis. Because attachment is innate Bowlby believed that there is a ‘sensitive period’ for forming attachments and he believes that the first attachment must be achieved by 7 months of age or it will become ever more difficult to form an attachment. He also believed that infants have built in mechanisms for encouraging care-giving behaviour from parents (social releasers). The ‘cute baby face’, facial expressions (such as smiling) and crying encourage contact. There are many studies and experiments that are in support of Bowlby’s theory of attachment, one is the study conducted by Hazan and Shaver (1987) in which they gave adult participants 2 questionnaires.
TMA03 ‘Sensitive parenting is the most important factor in a child’s psychological development.’ Discuss. In order to explore the influence of sensitive parenting on a child’s psychological development, it is first necessary to define what researchers mean by the term ‘sensitive parenting.’ Oates et al defined sensitive parenting as “nurturant, attentive, non-restrictive parental care” (Oates et al, OU, 2005 pg 30). Winnicott (1964) stated that sensitivity refers to the ability to understand that the best approach is not to try to ‘alleviate all distress, discomfort and frustration at the earliest possible opportunity,’ (as cited in Oates et al., 2005, p. 25) but to allow and be aware of the infants needs to develop, through supported waiting and reinforcement, the tolerance and confidence that forms part of a healthy attachment and results in normal behaviour. This balance could be found in what he termed the ‘good enough’ mother, in which the focus is on the right amount of delay in response to a infants needs, which can only be achieved via sensitivity and understanding of an infant’s needs. Another key figure in the field of child development, Mary Ainsworth, (1969) proposed a series of sensitivity scales that pointed to the quality of the care being provided as being the key factor, and broke the term sensitivity down further.
Due to substantial evidence from a number of different experiments supporting the nativist view on areas such as infant perception of depth, size constancy and pattern and face recognition, I believe that perceptual abilities are predominantly innate. However, in regards to the nature-nurture debate, I do not believe that the role of environment can be ignored in the development of perceptual abilities and that it occurs via an interdependent working together of both nature and nurture. It is an undisputed fact that newborn infants are born with very little knowledge with which to interpret sensory input that they receive from the environment (Taylor, 2005, p41). An interesting experiment by Gibson and Walk (1960) however proved that babies as young as 6 months do indeed have the perceptual abilities to detect depth. Gibson and Walk devised a ‘visual cliff’ which consisted of a large Plexiglas table under which a black and white high contrast chequered cloth was placed.
When a baby is born with the sensitivity of arts, he or she may show distinctive taste of art naturally. However, even if human nature generally comes when an infant is born, it does not mean that it remains unalterable. However, some research shows some genes are malleable. Behaviorists such as Watson and Skinner believed that new born babies can be trained into any profession regardless of the babies’ heredity. This theory was totally different from Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution.
(1971) in Meins et al. 2001) is mother’s sensitivity and her positive attitude towards a child. Sensitive mother is able to understand a child’s specific behaviour and respond to his/her needs on time in a proper manner. She is able to establish mother- child communication and can arouse child senses without obstructing child’s own interest and always puts her child first. Sensitive mothering allows emotional attachment, and enables mothers to read child’s emotions and respond to them accordingly.
1. Infancy: Birth to 18 months, Trust vs. Mistrust Because an infant is utterly dependent, the development of trust is based on the dependability and quality of the child’s caregivers. In this stage Susie was nursed, fed, and taken care of. The most significant relationship is with the maternal parent. 2.