Rothenbaum et al (2000) suggest three aspects of attachment theory show particular bias. 1. The Sensitivity Hypothesis Western: attachment patterns arise because of sensitive and responsive caring to develop independence and autonomy. Japanese: responsiveness and sensitivity are used to encourage closer dependency on the mother and to control infant emotions.
2. The Secure Base Hypothesis Western: a healthy attachment is one where the child has a secure base, encouraging exploration and eventual individuation. Japanese: dependency is more desirable. Amae encourages closeness and interdependence, both classed in the west as undesirable anxious-resistant characteristics.
Read p.44 Cross-cultural differences Takahashi (1990) What did Takahshi find? How did the Japanese children behave when left alone? Why did Takahashi find high rates of insecure-resistant attachment?
Read p.45: Meta-analysis. How many countries were examined in this study? Summarise the main findings of this research. Have a look at the bar chart showing the findings of the study. State two conclusions you can draw from this study. Van Ijzendoorn and Kroonenberg (1988)
Read p. 44 Cross-cultural similarities Explain how research on cultural variations does or does not support Bowlby’s theory of attachment.
Read p.46 - 47 Evaluating cultural variations in attachment A psychologist intends to conduct cross-cultural research into attachment and has moved with her family from Britain to Japan. She is having problems finding a nursery place for her 8-month-old baby. (a) Use what you know of culture and attachment to explain the problem of finding a nursery place. (2 marks) (b) Explain the difficulty that the psychologist might have using the strange situation in her research. (4 marks)
Practice Questions 1. State two ways in which attachments can vary across cultures (2 marks) 2. Outline what one study has shown about cultural variations in attachment. (4 marks) 3. Explain how psychologists have investigated cultural variations in attachment. (4 marks) 4. ‘Bowlby developed his theory of attachment on the basis that the features of attachment are universal - that is, they apply to all human beings in all cultures.’ Discuss cultural variations in attachment. (12 marks)