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  The First Two Years:
Psychosocial Development
- Attachment -

Growth & Development

   Ψ  Attachment– an enduring emotional connection between people that produces a desire for continual contact as well as feelings of distress during separation. Used to describe the relationship between parents and older infants.

Secure vs. Insecure Attachment

   Ψ  Secure attachment – a caregiver-infant relationship that provides comfort and confidence. This is evidenced first by the infant’s attempts to be close to the caregiver & then by the infant’s readiness to explore.

   Ψ  The caregiver’s role in a relationship of secure attachment is to act as a base for exploration to which the child freely ventures forth & returns.

Insecure Attachment

   Ψ  Insecure Attachment – a caregiver-infant relationship characterized by the child’s overdependence on, or lack of interest in, the caregiver. Characterized by a lack of confidence on the part of the child.

Measuring Attachment

   Ψ  Strange Situation – an experimental condition in which the infant’s behavior is observed in an unfamiliar room while the caregiver (mother) and a stranger move in and out of the room.

Types of Attachment

Type B: Secure Attachment (55-65%)
•  Exploration of Toys – a secure toddler plays happily.
•  Reaction to caregiver’s departure – may or may not show signs that caregiver is missed.
•  Reaction to the caregiver’s return – happy to see caregiver.

    Benefits of Secure Attachment: aids both cognitive and social development. Securely attached infants are more curious, outgoing, and self-directed.

Type A: Insecure-avoidant (15-25%) - Characteristics: minimally interested in the caregiver, explores busily, shows minimal distress at separation, ignores or avoids caregiver on reunion.

Type C: Insecure-resistant (10-15%) - Characteristics: preoccupied with caregiver, has difficulty settling down, both seeks & resists contact on reunion, may be angry or very passive.

Type D: Insecure-disorganized (10-20%)

    Remember: Attachment is more influenced by the child's temperament than by the caregiver.

Attachment for Adults - four categories:

•  Autonomous; value close relationships & regard them as influential.
 •  Dismissing; devalue the importance of attachments.
  •  Preoccupied; very involved with their childhood relationships.
   •  Unresolved; past relationships not yet reconciled with current ones.

It's a Mickey Mouse World , isn't it?

Growth & Development
Robert C. Gates