Infancy - Emotional and Social Foundations


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  • Primary – shared with animals, consistent across cultureSecondary – require social learning (done in the 2nd year of life)
  • Differentiation in the first few months
  • Stranger anxiety represents attachment
  • Boundary/edges – hard to perceive emotionsStill-face – Demonstrates that infants have come to expect/trust certain responses
  • Infancy - Emotional and Social Foundations

    1. 1. Infancy:Emotional & Social Foundations Doug Girard, M.S. Loyola University Maryland
    2. 2. Emotional Foundations
    3. 3. EmotionsPrimary emotions Secondary emotions• Anger • Embarrassment• Fear • Guilt• Disgust • Shame• Surprise• Happiness
    4. 4. Emotional Expression
    5. 5. Emotional Expression• Timeline – Early weeks • Distress, Interest, Pleasure – First few months • Distress  Anger, Sadness, Fear • Interest  Surprise • Pleasure  Happiness
    6. 6. Anger• Timeline – 1mo: Undifferentiated distress, angry cry – 4mo: Facial expression of anger – 7mo: Clear anger• Triggers – Intentions are thwarted
    7. 7. Sadness• Timeline – Rare in the 1st year of life – Exception: Children of depressed mothers• Triggers – Infant sadness is a response to maternal sadness
    8. 8. Fear• Timeline – 6mo: Facial expression of fear• Triggers – Sudden, unexpected movement – Stranger anxiety
    9. 9. Surprise• Timeline – 6mo: Open mouth, raised eyebrows• Triggers – Something that violates expectations
    10. 10. Happiness• Timeline – 1mo: Smile in response to sensory experiences – 3mo: Social smile when interacting with others – 4mo: Laughter
    11. 11. Emotional Perception
    12. 12. Auditory Perception• Timeline – 0wk: Emotional contagion • Cry when other infants cry
    13. 13. Visual Perception• Timeline – 2wk: Hard to perceive others emotions • Vision still poor, Only look at facial boundaries/edges – 3mo: Can discern happy, sad, and angry faces – 3mo: Distressed by still faces (emotionless) – 9mo: Social referencing • If mom likes X, so will the infant • If mom dislikes X, the infant will avoid it
    14. 14. The Still Face Experiment
    15. 15. Social Foundations
    16. 16. In Developing Nations• Patterns – 0mo: Mother and infant never apart – 6mo: Care delegated to older girls • Infants are among many people • Infants are held/carried almost constantly • Fathers are often remote/absent in the first year
    17. 17. In the West• Patterns – Nuclear family – Sleep in a separate room from birth – Mother and infant are alone for most of the day – The infant may be left in a crib/seat for significant periods – Fathers relatively more involved
    18. 18. Theories of Social Development• Erikson’s Psychosocial Stages of Development• Attachment theory
    19. 19. Theories of Social Development• Erikson’s Stages of Psychosocial Development – “Trust vs. Mistrust” is the developmental challenge in infancy – Infants are born entirely dependent on others – They need someone they can reliably trust for food, warmth, protection, and love – Basic trust in the social world generalizes from these early experiences of trust or mistrust
    20. 20. Theories of Social Development• Attachment Theory – Children need a primary caregiver with sensitive responsiveness for social and emotional development to proceed normally – The infant uses this attachment figure as a secure base to explore from and return to – The caregiver’s responses create internal working models that guide the child’s perceptions, emotions, thoughts, and expectations in later relationships
    21. 21. Attachment Theory
    22. 22. Attachment Theory• Key Contributors – Konrad Lorenz – Harry Harlow – John Bowlby – Mary Ainsworth – Mary Main – Allan Schore
    23. 23. Lorenz• Imprinting – Time-sensitive attachment behavior – Lorenz demonstrated geese imprint on the first moving stimulus they see within a “critical period” (13-16 hours after hatching) – Goslings could even imprint on Lorenz himself!
    24. 24. Harlow• The Wire Mother Experiments – Demonstrated attachment is not based on food, as was previously thought • Gave young rhesus monkeys a choice between two different “mothers,” one made of soft terrycloth who provided no food and the other made of wire who provided food in a bottle – Monkeys spent almost all time with the cloth mother – When scared, monkeys would return to the cloth mother – When the cloth mother was removed, the monkeys’ health deteriorated
    25. 25. Harlow
    26. 26. Bowlby• Deprivation Studies – Observed that hospitalized children separated from their parents went on to develop significant problems – Orphans completely deprived of maternal attachment would become anaclitically depressed and eventually die due to lack of interest in food – Saw attachment as an innate survival mechanism
    27. 27. Ainsworth• The “Strange Situation” – An experiment to assess the attachment style between mother and child – Believed that a mother’s sensitive response to her child (attunement) determines the attachment style: • Secure attachment • Insecure-avoidant attachment • Anxious-ambivalent attachment • Disorganized attachment
    28. 28. Ainsworth
    29. 29. Ainsworth
    30. 30. Main• Adult Attachment Inventory – Used to assess attachment patterns in adults – Finding: Childhood attachment styles persist into adulthood!
    31. 31. Schore• Neuroscience – Sees attachment as a co-regulating system • The mother regulates the child • The child regulates the mother – Proper brain development depends on attachment • “The Effects of Poor Attachment on Brain Development”
    32. 32. Schore
    33. 33. Infancy:Emotional & Social Foundations Doug Girard, M.S. Loyola University Maryland