Behaviorism, Psychoanalytic Theory, And Attachment Theory

879 Words4 Pages
Before my first child was born, I studied child development. I learned the importance of responsive caregiving. I learned that I would soon be able to read my baby’s cries. I would know what was wrong and what I could do by the sound of the cry. After my baby was born, I responded quickly when he cried. To my surprise, I had difficulty calming him. I realized I did not always know what was wrong by the sound of his cry. I became very frustrated and decided that if my baby was dry, fed, and not tired. I would just let him cry it out. I didn’t know what else to do.
Explain how Behaviorism, Psychoanalytic Theory, and Attachment Theory suggest handling this situation and predict what would be each likely outcome.
Ivan Pavlov, John B. Watson, and B.F. Skinner all state that Behaviorism is the shaping of the child’s behavior through an environment of learning in which the adult use favorable or unfavorable reinforcement (pbworks.com, 2011). The learning environment of the baby in this situation created a behavior that when the child cries the mother will immediately respond. The child has learned that crying will get his mother’s attention. The mother has also learned that when her baby cries it is a result of one of four reasons: needs attention, hunger, diaper/clothing changed or want to be rocked to sleep. A mother will understand the meaning and hear the difference the baby’s cry through attentiveness and be consistently reactive to the child’s needs. The mother and the
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