Outline Two Factors That Influence Cross-Cultural Attachment (4 Marks)

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Research from around the world supports the studies that all infants develop attachment, whether secure or insecure, with their primary caregivers. There is substantial evidence that the number of children who develop a secure pattern of attachment is similar across cultures. In Africa, China, Israel, Japan, Western Europe and America, most children (about two-thirds) are securely attached to their caregivers. However, the proportion of children who are insecure-avoidant or insecure-ambivalent varies across cultures. In Japan a higher proportion of children are classified as ambivalent and a lower proportion of children are classified as avoidant than in Western European and American cultures. Japanese infants are more likely to be very upset during separations from their caregivers and less likely to explore the environment than American infant; this is because Japan encourages dependence rather than independence, unlike America. Based on this data and using the Japanese culture as an example, Rothbaum and his colleagues argued that caregiver sensitivity in Japan is a function of parents' efforts to maintain high levels of emotional closeness with their children, but that in the United States it is a function of parents' efforts to balance emotional closeness with children's assumed need to become self-sufficient. In fact, Japanese parents spend more time in close contact with their infants than parents in the United States. Regardless, most attachment researchers now agree that caregiver sensitivity is only one important contributor to attachment security. In all cultures, other factors such as how much stimulation parents provide their children, as well as child characteristics such as temperament, are likely to influence the development of attachment. The link between attachment security and child competence has also received scrutiny from a cross-cultural
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