Social and Personality Development: Ch 4 Discussion

Ch 4 Discussion

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Watch the video below, which shows scientists looking at the attachment between a child and parent or caregiver and testing how that relationship may affect a child’s mental and physical health.

Video: Science Bulletins: Attachment Theory—Understanding the Essential Bond (Links to an external site.)Science Bulletins: Attachment Theory—Understanding the Essential Bond

After watching the video, choose the question below that interests.  For your replies, choose posts that address a different topic than you did.

  1. What was the theory proposed by Bowlby, in regards to child’s development? Do you think it is still relevant to today’s families?
  2. In tests, scientists observed a child’s response to a parent leaving the room. How did an insecurely attached child react when the parent left the room? Did this surprise you? Why do you think insecurely attached infants respond this way?
  3. What are adverse childhood experiences (ACE)?  What psychological and biological ailments are people with ACEs more susceptible to?  Why is this so?
  4. What is cortisol and what does it do to our behavior in relationships? What is the developmental impact of this?
  5. How are low levels of security attachment and cortisol linked?  What implications does this have on personality development?
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In the video, Science Bulletins: Attachment Theory-Understanding the Essential Bond, child to parent attachment is addressed. The British Psychologist John Bowlby looks at child-parent separation during the London bombing. The children had a very negative response to the separation from their mothers. Bowlby studied monkeys, the infant-mother relationship between the baby monkey and their mother. He saw that the baby monkeys got all the key nutrients from their mother from drinking their milk. He also saw that those baby monkeys also wanted physical contact to their mothers. They would grab onto their mother’s tail and just seek contact. Human children also have the same tendencies, they need to be fed as well as held and given close physical human contact. Based on Bowlby the center for children bases their works on building and forming secure human attachments.

According the childhood research center mentioned in this video, cortisol levels correlate with child attachment as well as immune responses. Cortisol is a steroid hormone in the body produced by the adrenal gland, when released into the blood stream, your body can respond to stress or danger, as well as increase your body’s metabolism of glucose, control your blood pressure, and reduce inflammation. According to healthdirect.gov, cortisol is also needed for the fight of flight response, in order for your body to react to a perceived threat. As a result of the parental interactions at the childcare center, that helps parents build strong bonding relationships with their children, the cortisol levels of the children increased to healthy amounts as the relationship with their parent increased and got stronger. Our attachment to our parents is directly linked to cortisol levels as infants because if there is a strong parent to child relationship the cortisol levels are increased, those children have a better immune response, as well as overall balance is correct. If you have balanced hormones levels you are less likely to have behavior problems and better attachment going through life. The developmental impact of cortisol levels and attachment will provide the child more security and more secure relationships throughout life because your childhood reflects largely upon who you become as an adult.

Mcleod, S. (1970, January 1). Bowlby’s Attachment Theory. Retrieved January 27, 2020, from https://www.simplypsychology.org/bowlby.html

The role of cortisol in the body. (n.d.). Retrieved January 27, 2020, from https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/the-role-of-cortisol-in-the-body

 

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This week’s video is based on Attachment Theory- Understanding the Essential Bond. John Bowlby, which was a psychoanalyst, presented us with the attachment theory. Bowlby’s theory implied that children come into the world biologically pre-programmed to build attachment with others. Bowlby’s theory also taught us that the attachment children create is imperative as the security they build as a child will play a big role in their mental health as an adult. Additionally, the theory also claimed that mothering is a very important factor in the first 3 years of life of a child. Depriving a child of its mother can lead to consequences that can make the child suffer long-term. If a child and a mother do not successfully create a bond during the first 3 years then there will be problems with social, emotional, and cognitive difficulties for the infant. Additionally, chapter 4 also introduced us to Harlow’s theory of attachment where we see a baby monkey clinging to “mother” for support. This shows that the baby monkey is wanting affection and is not just clinging on “mother” for food.

In the video, we see that the researcher has placed the mother and the child in the playroom lab where the child plays for about 20 minutes. We see as the child plays with the toys in a calm and happy manner but still stays next to her mother. The insecurely attached child does not stop observing the mother. A few minutes later the mother got up and left the play lab, the child stopped and looked at the mother leaving. Once the mother was gone, the child became distressed and began to cry. Once the child started crying the mother came back into the room and carried the child. We see in the video that the insecurely attached child does not stop crying once mom comes into the room and picks the child up. I was not surprised by the response that was given by the insecurely attached child. At the beginning of the video, the mother explains to the counselor that as a child her mother never showed her any type of affection, nor was she taught how to take care of anyone or even herself. The mother also explains that as a child she was neglected by her mother and would often be a scream at her. This leads to an understanding of the insecure attachment the child in the video has with her mother.  We can see that the child has an insecure attachment to the mother. The mother lacking in parenting due to her childhood experience. Hence, since the mother was never taught affection as a child, now as a mother it is very difficult for her to meet her child’s needs.

 

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The week’s assignment is based on the video above; Attachment Theory – Understanding the Essential Bond. In this video, the narrator explains why the bond between a child and its care taker is not only necessary but crucial. This film also explains that if a parent had a difficult childhood, bonding issues may arise when they care for their own children. Observing the behavior of monkeys with their offspring can illustrate secure bonds in which are critical. The film showed that even when infant monkeys are weaned and do not need their mother’s milk anymore, they still stay in close proximity to their mothers because of the secure bond that has been created.

Cortisol is the body’s main stress hormone and is naturally produced by the adrenal glands. Some may call it the body’s built in alarm system. Cortisol is released into the bloodstream as the body’s response to stress and danger. Low levels of security attachment and cortisol are linked because when a child does not have a secure attachment to their care taker, their cortisol levels do not increase normally like they would with a secure attachment. Attachment and bond to the caretaker throughout infancy is extremely important because without it, the baby may grow up to have a multitude of mental and physical health issues.

 

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In the video Science Bulletins: Attachment Theory- Understanding the Essential Bond. The theory that Bowlby came about the bombing that happened in London. Many parents, chose to separate from their children by sending them off to secure locations. He proposed that doing this would evidently cause negative responses from the caregivers. He noticed that an infant monkey would still look for contact and proximity to its mother regardless if it was being nurtured, him and other researchers came about with the theory of behavior attachment. This theory basically proposed “babies don’t just love their parents because of the food that is provided, there’s more to it. ” The theory of “there’s more to it” amounted to babies with healthy attachments, had a healthier social and mental outcome. As the powerpoint also mentioned, it seems more suitable for babies to be positively attached, for it causes great outcomes in the future. An interesting point I read, babies that have healthy attachment, can develop emotional things better, which in the long run, will do them well. I believe this theory till this day can still be considered relevant. However, studying children and how they interact, still remains to be a challenge due to babies not being able to be fully comprehensive. As Anne Murphy stated, the parents that join the center she works for, are mainly parents whom as a child were probably neglected in the affection area when growing up. Having that lack of attachment and affection influences them into either being the same way or having difficulty connecting with their child. Pearl Castillo, a mother who attends the center, expressed that the crying of her baby was sometimes too much for her, and it would cause her frustration to the point of yelling at her baby. In today’s world, I feel that this is relevant, however, as research continues to grow, I feel people are becoming aware of the needs of a child. I feel that a child’s behavior isn’t just being brushed off as “oh they’re just being a child,” but more so “well maybe something is bothering the child.” I think society as a whole has become a bit more aware and focused in growing our children the right way.

 

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The video “Science Bulletins: Attachment Theory – Understanding the Essential Bond” explains the child to parent attachment in humans. This theory was produced by John Bowlby in 1958 after he examined how British children responded to being separated from their mothers following the London Bombings. Bowlby saw that children experienced severe distress when separated from their mothers, and later defined attachment as a “lasting psychological connectedness between human beings.” Bowlby’s attachment theory went against the previous behavioral theory (1950), which underestimated the bond between a child and their mother by stating that the attachment found in humans is strictly because the infant was fed by the mother or caregiver. His theory also establishes that this same attachment formed by infants is biologically pre-programmed because it will help the child survive and succeed later in life. Similarly, those who do not develop this sense of attachment at an early age will be at a risk for health problems in the future. For example, the video states that people with difficult/adverse childhood experiences are more likely to experience substance abuse, depression, suicide, cardiovascular disease, and other many serious health issues.

I would say that the attachment theory is still somewhat relevant today, as I believe there is a heavy correlation between one’s upbringing and the person they later become in life. Thus, since the attachment theory puts a heavy emphasis on the way one is raised and treated as a baby, it is very reasonable to conclude that Bowlby’s theory could still hold up today in certain cases. However, this theory seems to forget about a lot of the important human interactions and experiences that people go through as they mature, and it also isolates the mother of the child and completely ignores the other people’s effect and impact in their lives. Therefore, I don’t think that this this theory should be heavily relied on nowadays.