Culture and Attachment
In the video you just watched in class, you saw a securely attached Efai child in the Strange Situation. According to Gilda Morelli pilot studies on the Efai show about 80% of their children are securely attached, as compared to about 60-65% of American children. Different child-rearing practices between the two cultures could account for this difference.
In this assignment you will think about what we have learned about how parental sensitivity affects security of attachment and use that to explain the following findings:
- In Israeli kibbutzim child care facilities there is one metaplot (caregiver) for every 3 infants. This caregiver is frequently unmotivated. Parents spend 6-8hrs/day with infants. The parents of children cared for in kibbutzim are frequently stressed and have high anxiety levels. At night infants are cared for by one watch woman; the woman assigned to night watch is changed frequently.
- In Japan, during their first couple of years babies are rarely separated from their mothers. 90% of Japanese Strange Situation sessions needed to be curtailed because of stress levels. "The Japanese emphasis on the development of harmonious modes of interpersonal interactions, reinforced by a highly harmonious society, inhibits avoidant behaviours towards others, and impolite modes of interactions" Takahashi (1990)
- German parents encourage independence at an earlier age than American parents. German mothers are generally less tender and affectionate, their holding episodes are shorter. German infants' age-appropriate exploration is not related to physical contact, but significantly related to visual references.
1. Differences. Think about what we know about how different parenting practices and parental sensitivity affect the formation of attachment. For each culture, explain how the different child-rearing arrangements would account for the patterns found in the Strange Situation (with respect to the U.S). Justify your answers.
2. Similarities. What might account for the fact that most children are securely attached in all cultures?
3. If you heard about a culture in which 50% of the children are classified as insecure-resistant, what might you infer about the child-rearing practices of that culture?
think critically about classic and contemporary issues of child development.
understand research methods and interpret research findings.
apply research findings to concrete problems in the real world.