How Does Swaddling Affect The Infant Through Adulthood?

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While I disagree with the idea of National Character studies in the respect that one whole nation has one typical personality, not allowing for variations in individual personalities in a given culture, Gorer does make a good point in his swaddling hypothesis about how swaddling can affect the infant through adulthood. Erikson also supported this view comparing it to the use of cradleboards by the Oglala Sioux Indians. He proposed that the use of cradleboards in infancy led to the personality extremes of their stoicism and violent outbursts in war as well as their Sun Dance (Chisholm 1983). The Russian and Sioux mothers doing the swaddling shows one way that parent’s cognitions, which are shaped by their culture, can affect how they raise…show more content…
Developmental psychologist Mary Ainsworth did a comparative study of maternal behavior in Africa and the United States starting in 1967. She focused on the importance of breast-feeding and body contact to the development of infant attachment. She found that maternal availability and responsiveness to infant signal were clearly related to the growth of secure attachments (Bock 1999). Ainsworth identified three patterns of attachment that include the secure attachment style, anxious/ambivalent attachment style, and avoidance attachment style. Depending on the specific attachment style one was exposed to and learned as an infant will demonstrate specific adult attachment styles which involved the secure, preoccupied, fearful and dismissing adult attachment styles. Interactions we first have with our primary caregivers shape our relationships as adults (Power 2011). A longitudinal study started in 1971 in a Bantu speaking community in Kenya starting with infants six months to one year old, then followed up with the same children at ages five years old and twelve years old. The study focused on observations of interactions between caretakers and babies. The study concluded that the child’s early ties with the mother were most influential in his or her socioemotional development and that infant attachment styles may be
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