Emotional Development - Other theories

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  • Emotional Development - Other theories
    • Schaffer and Emerson
      • Suggests that babies are most likely to form attachments to caregivers who respond effectively to their signals
        • Not based on how much time they spend with the caregiver
      • Developed a theory called sensitive responsiveness
      • Believes that the most important part of forming attachments is the adult who plays and communicates with them
      • Up to 3 months
        • Most babies respond the same to any caregiver
      • 3 - 7 months
        • Can distinguish the differences between their main caregiver and other people
        • Will accept care from other people
      • 7 - 9 months
        • Begins to look to particular people for security, comfort and protection
        • Begins to show fear of strangers
        • Is unhappy when separated from their main caregiver
        • Stranger fear and anxiety may begin to develop but some infants are more likely to develop it than others
      • 9 months +
        • Starts to become more independent
        • Begins forming several attachments
          • Referred to as 'multiple attachments'
    • Robertson's study of distress
      • Based on several years of observation in long and short hospital stays
      • Developed the theory of response of the under 3's to stay in a hospital without the mother/ caregiver
      • Identified that under 3's go through 3 stages of separation anxiety
      • Stages
        • Protest
          • The child expects their primary caregiver to respond to his cries
            • When they don't come the child is heartbroken
              • Becomes visibly upset and searches for them
        • Despair
          • When the care giver remains absent the child gives up hope
            • Becomes withdrawn and 'settled in'
        • Denial/ detachment
          • The child shows more interest in his surroundings and seems happy
            • If the caregiver is to visit the child seems to hardly know them and no longer cries when they leave


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