What do the theories of psychosocial development say
about the emotional needs of infants and toddlers?
How important is the parent–child attachment relationship?
How do emotions develop, and how do changes in the brain
influence this development?
How do infants and toddlers develop a sense of self and the
social skills necessary to interact with others?
What role do caregivers and the child’s own temperament
play in the child’s psychosocial development?
Freud’s Psychoanalytic Theory: stage theory that believes
very early experiences, especially those with parents,
shape development and personality
Oral stage: Infant seeks gratification through oral
stimulation, primarily sucking.
Anal stage: Gratification is derived from exercise and control
of anal muscles.
Erikson’s Psychosocial Theory: stage theory that emphasizes
the influence of environment and culture on psychosocial
development; consists of eight stages covering the entire life
Stage 1: Trust versus Mistrust
Stage 2: Autonomy versus Shame and Doubt
Bowlby’s Attachment Theory: theory emphasizing that
early childhood experiences of sensitive, responsive
maternal care promote secure attachment relationships
with strong emotional bonds
How Does Attachment Develop?
Attachment: lasting psychological connectedness
between human beings and governed by three
Alarm of some kind
Seeking physical contact
If successful in seeking contact, anxiety is relieved and
infant is soothed.
Attachment figure: a person the child uses as a secure
The Strange Situation Procedure: A
laboratory procedure designed by Mary
Ainsworth to capture individual differences
in attachment; it involves separating
infants and toddlers from their caregivers
for brief periods and observing their
responses when the caregivers return.
Secure attachment: attachment that characterizes
children who use caregivers as a secure base from
which to explore. In the Strange Situation
procedure, they are distressed when their
caregivers leave the room but are happy and easily
comforted when they return.
Insecure-avoidant attachment: attachment that
characterizes children who appear to avoid their
caregivers; these children are unresponsive to
caregivers, they are not distressed when they leave
the room, and they ignore them when they return.
Insecure-resistant attachment: attachment that
characterizes children who seek closeness to their
caregivers but resist this closeness at the same
time; these children are distressed when their
caregivers leave the room and make anxious
contact with them when they return, showing both
clinging behavior and resistance.
Disorganized attachment: Attachment that
characterizes children who display confused and
disorganized reactions to caregivers; these children
may simultaneously display contradictory
behaviors, such as distress and avoidance, when
reunited with caregivers, and may appear dazed or
Maltreated children do have impaired attachment
Abuse and neglect can have lasting effects in
emotional regulation and stress responses, leading
to adult depression.
Developmental delays are four to five times greater
for abused than nonabused children, with possible
Infants communicate their needs through
emotional expression: crying, babbling,
Experiences in the early years set the
emotional foundation for all learning and
Discrete emotions theory: a theory holding that
people are born with a group of core emotions
whose expression and recognition are
fundamentally the same for all individuals in all
cultures. These emotions are distinct from one
another from a very young age, and each has its
own neural, physiological, behavioral, and
Primary, or basic, emotions: emotions that
can be seen from the beginning of infancy
and that are assumed to be innate. They are
often believed to include joy, sadness, fear,
anger, disgust, interest, surprise, and
Secondary emotions: emotions that are not
innate but that depend to some extent on
cognitive development and self-awareness.
They appear during the second year of life
and include shame, embarrassment, guilt,
envy, and pride.
Birth: The transition from life inside the womb to
life outside the womb: Emotional, expressions of
crying, interest, disgust, surprise, pleasure, and
The 2–3 month transition: The Awakening of
Sociability: Social smiles, expressions of joy,
sadness, eye-to-eye social contact
Not a response to external stimuli
Happens during first month after birth, usually
Appears about 2 to 3 months of age
Response to external stimulus, faces
The 5–6 month transition: Stranger Anxiety:
Focused attachment, infants are more aware of
caregiver and other people.
The 10–13 month transition: Walking and the
growing sense of self: The drive for independence
creates the appearance of elation, a sense of pride;
they are becoming more autonomous.
The 18–24 month transition: The transition
into early childhood. Growing self-
awareness increases secondary emotions of
shame, embarrassment, guilt, envy, and
Emotional regulation: the process of adjusting
internal feeling states in order to achieve goals
Emotional availability: the quality of emotional
exchanges between two people, focusing on their
accessibility to each other and their ability to read
and respond appropriately to one another's
Social competence: the skills necessary for
interacting with others
Decoding Facial Behavior
Gaze cues: eye expressions to help discriminate
happiness, fear, and anger
Mutual gaze: eye contact that helps establish
communication between two people
Social referencing: the use of emotional cues
from other people, such as facial expression
and tone of voice, to regulate one’s own
Well established by 10–12 months of age
Sense of self: the accumulation of knowledge
about the self, such as beliefs regarding
personality traits, physical characteristics,
abilities, values, goals, and roles
Erik Erikson: The toddler’s core challenge is
developing the sense of self. Between the ages of 1
and 3, toddlers struggle to develop autonomy by
asserting their independence. Toilet training is their
attempt to establish self-control. If they are
encouraged, their confidence is given a boost. If
criticized, they may become overly dependent.
Children under 18 months of age do not
recognize themselves in a mirror, which
indicates lack of self-awareness.
As they develop a sense of self, they are able
to recognize and respond to the needs of
An affective state that stems from the
apprehension or comprehension of another’s
emotional state or condition.
Infants appear to experience empathy through crying
when other babies cry.
Toddlers want to help even without the potential for
Moral behavior: a disposition to do
something on behalf of another person, or to
behave in accord with a moral norm or
standard bearing on human welfare or
Positive, loving, secure relationships between
caregiver and children are critical for proper
Fathers who are actively involved in the caregiving of
Are more sensitive with their infants
Report secure attachment with their infants
Experience better psychosocial health and self-
Both fathers and spouses report greater marital
Produced improvement in the mother/child relationship
Infants experienced enhanced cognitive development
Parents play the most important role in a
child’s life; however, if outside child care is
used, whether in a home or child-care center,
care must be taken to ensure quality care,
which is crucial to positive development.
Temperament: a set of inherited personality traits
that are observable from the beginning of life and
reflected in individual differences in reactivity and
self-regulation in the domains of affect, activity, and
Slow to warm up