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Monday, 15 October 2012 09:03

Powerpoint notes: Chapter 7

Written by David Sheppard
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n  The First Two Years: Psychosocial Development

n  Slides prepared by Kate Byerwalter, Ph.D., Grand Rapids Community College

n  What does “psychosocial” mean?

Psychosocial development is the combination of emotional and social development.

n  During infancy, interactions with sensitive, responsive caregivers foster psychosocial development.

n  Emotional Development in Infancy

n  The First Year

¨  At birth: distress and contentment

¨  Social smile appears around 6 weeks

¨  Anger (as early as 4 months)

¨  Fear

n  Stranger wariness

n  Separation anxiety

n  Can anyone relate to this one?

n  The Second Year

¨  Fear and anger, laughing and crying become more discriminating

¨  New emotions appear: pride, shame, embarrassment, guilt

n  These emotions require a sense of self

n  Dot-of-rouge experiment

n  Self Awareness

n  The realization that one is a unique person separate from others

n  Emerges around 15-18 months

¨  Measured by reaction to dot of rouge on face

¨  Is the prerequisite for pride, guilt, shame, embarrassment, jealousy, empathy

n  Pride and Shame

n  “It seems that building self-esteem results not from praising young children, but from enabling them to accomplish things that make them feel proud.”

                                                                        (Berger, 2005)

n  Theories about Caregiving

n  There are several theories of how the interaction between caregiver and infant shapes the infant’s behavior, personality, and relationships with others.

n  Psychoanalytic Theory

n  Freud believed that conflicts during the oral and anal stages shaped the infant’s later personality.

Example: Too strict toilet training may lead to an anal retentive personality.

n  Erik Erikson’s First Two Psychosocial Stages 

Trust vs. Mistrust: quality of care in the first year shapes the infant’s view of the consistency and predictability of the world

Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt = basic need to gain self-rule or feel ashamed that it doesn’t happen

n  Behaviorism

n  Infant’s emotions and personality are molded as parents reinforce or punish  child’s spontaneous behavior.

n  Social referencing strengthens learning by observation.

n  Cognitive Theory

n  Cognitive Theory states that infants form a concept of what to expect from people.

n  The result is a working model, a set of assumptions about relationships.

Example: An infant learns to expect that people can be trusted (or not).

n  Epigenetic Theory

n  Epigenetic theory holds that child-rearing practices shape inborn predispositions.

Example: A “naturally” fearful infant becomes less fearful in the context of a supportive parent who encourages bravery.

n  Temperament: An Example Of Epigenetic Theory

n  Temperamental traits originate in one’s genes, but are influenced by experience.

Examples: Infants differ in their reactions to new situations (fearful or bold); some infants cry easily, others seem “born tough”.

n  Temperament (cont.)

n  Measuring Temperament

n  The NYLS relied on parent reports and direct observations to categorize infants as:

¨  EASY (40%)

¨  SLOW TO WARM UP (15%)

¨  DIFFICULT (10%)


n  Temperament and Caregiving

n  It is important to appreciate each child’s unique temperament.

Goodness of fit: the match between the child’s temperament and the environment

¨  This is especially important for a child with a difficult temperament

n  Sociocultural Theory

Sociocultural theory places a strong emphasis on the role of the entire social context on infant development.

Ethnotheory states that child-rearing practices (e.g., co-sleeping or not) are embedded within each culture or ethnic group.

n  The Development of Social Bonds

Synchrony: coordinated interaction between caregiver and infant that starts the process of attachment

n  Early Emotional Responses

Interactions between caregiver and infant are crucial for emotional development  (i.e., synchrony).

Still face technique = studying synchrony by assessing infant’s reaction when caregiver halts synchronous behavior…(infants don’t like it!).

n  Attachment

n  Attachment is a close emotional bond between infant and caregiver(s) that develops gradually over the first year of life. 

n  Signs of Attachment

n  It is easy to know if a parent is attached to an infant (they pull out the wallet full of pictures, talk lovingly about the infant, etc.).

n  But how do we know how the infant feels about the parent?

n  Signs of Attachment

n  Infants show their desire to be with a caregiver through:

contact-maintaining behaviors (e.g., smile, hold on to person), and

proximity-seeking behaviors (e.g., crawl toward person).

n  Measuring Attachment

n  Mary Ainsworth measured attachment through the “Strange Situation”

¨  Performed when infant is around 1 year old

¨  Results have correlated with child outcomes later in life

n  Measuring Attachment

n  Strange Situation is a laboratory procedure assessing:

¨  Exploration of the toys

¨  Reaction to caregiver’s departure

¨  Reaction to caregiver’s return

n  Categories of Attachment

Secure Attachment =

¨  Yes, explore toys

¨  May cry upon caregiver leaving

¨  Happy to see caregiver return

¨  Long-term outcomes are positive (e.g., good social skills, well-liked, happy kids)

n  Categories of Attachment

Insecure-Resistant Attachment:

¨  Little to no exploration of toys

¨  Cry when caregiver leaves

¨  Remains upset (cry/anger) upon caregiver’s return

n  Long-term outcomes include dependence (especially for girls) or aggression (especially for boys)

n  Categories of Attachment

Insecure Avoidant Attachment

¨  Yes, explores the toys

¨  Doesn’t cry when caregiver turns

¨  Avoids or ignores caregiver upon return

n  Attachment Categories

Disorganized Attachment

¨  Infant demonstrates bizarre, inconsistent behavior toward the parent

¨  Infants in this category may have been abused or neglected

¨  Outcomes for them are often negative

n  Secure Attachment is Likely When:

n  The parent is:

¨  sensitive to child’s needs

¨  responsive to signals

¨  engages in infant-caregiver play

¨  not overly stressed

n  And when the infant is “easy

n  Attachment Over Time

n  An infant can change attachment status over time, especially if the social setting changes.

¨  Examples: divorce, abuse, remarriage

n  Overall, secure attachment in infancy is associated with positive outcomes later in life.

Make it Real: Attachment

Think of someone you know who has difficulty in relationships (could be you). How might early attachment experiences influenced his or her ability to form connections with others? 

n  Social Referencing

n  Looking to others for cues for how to feel, especially in a new situation

¨  Example: If a caregiver shows fear of a situation, the infant likely will too!

n  This shows that emotions can be learned

n  Referencing Mothers

n  A study by Kochanska (2001) found that in general, infants and toddlers obey their mother’s requests, especially if the mother was convincing in her tone and choice of words.

n  (Yes, toddlers do have the ability to obey!)

n  Referencing Fathers

n  Fathers today spend considerable time with their children, and research is just beginning to document the importance of this relationship.

Make it real: Referencing Fathers

In what ways do you think fathers interact with infants differently than mothers?

n  Referencing Fathers (cont.)

n  Fathers tend to:

¨  Be more encouraging of infant exploration

¨  Engage in more physical, noisy, emotional play

¨  Engage in teasing

n  Infants tend to:

¨  Comply with father’s commands more often

¨  Infant Day Care

n  As more infants spend time in nonparental care, the question of the effects of that care on child development continues to be debated.

n  The most comprehensive study to date is conducted by the NICHD Early Child Care Research Network

n  Types of Infant Day Care

Family day care: children cared for in home of a paid caregiver

Center day care: several paid providers care for children

n  Our textbook author suggests that center care may be the best option, but even licensed centers vary in quality!

n  Some Results of the NICHD Study

n  Even 40 hours a week of infant child care had considerable less influence than the mother-infant relationship on child outcomes.

n  Secure attachment was just as likely among infants in center care as those raised at home.

n  More Results

n  Quality of child care is important.

n  How time is spent when the infant is home is important as well.

n  Infant Day Care…Who can afford it?

n  Infant day care is often more expensive than care for a toddler or preschooler.

n  Higher-income homes are more likely to use center care, due to the cost.

n  Some countries (not the U.S.) have government funded care for all children.