The significance of the early attachment bonds between infants and their mothers, as well as other primary caregivers, on a child’s development has been documented extensively in literature (Snyder, Shapiro, & Treleaven, 2012; Dozier, Lindhiem, & Ackerman, 2005). A mother’s capacity to adjust, regulate, and interact with her infant has extensive cognitive and developmental outcomes (Bowlby 1988; Shapiro 2012). One’s experiences in early childhood create the foundation from which perceptions of the self and others are created. These experiences are linked with the development of neural pathways in the brain that regulate responses to stress (Marmarosh & Tasca, 2013), and influence attachments and the ability to develop relationships throughout life (Snyder, Shapiro, & Treleaven, 2012).
By responding with care and comfort, this enables for an “attachment bond” to form between the infant and caregiver, most commonly the mother (White et al., 2013). Following on from Bowlby’s theory, Mary Ainsworth investigated the theory of attachment through observing the reactions of infants when their mothers left them alone with strangers. The investigation was named as the “Ainsworth’s strange situation assessment” (White et al., 2013). It was discovered through this investigation that infants who had secure attachments with their mothers were upset when separated and were easily soothed when the mother returns. This investigation implies that infants with secure attachment to their mothers show signs of normal social development.
Lewis (2013) explains the ability to control your emotions does not begin until a child nears the age of six (as cited in Berger, 2014, p. 276). The need to maintain control of feelings and emotions remains important throughout adulthood. It would not be normal for a 38-year-old lawyer to throw a temper tantrum in the courtroom because they did not win a case. Not everyone is great at controlling their emotions, but there is always room for improvement (Berger, 2014). A child is not born with this control, nor can one learn it on their own. Morris et al. (2007) discussed the importance of parents, teachers and other adults that may be in a child?s life to instruct and inform children of appropriate ways to manage their feelings for them to learn or develop over time (as cited in Berger, 2014, p. 276). It is the same aspect as manners. A child does not come out of the womb saying ?please? and ?thank you,? but must be taught to use such mannerisms. Eric Erikson explained that children believe they can achieve any goal just as long as they keep trying because their view of their abilities is not yet within reason (Berger, 2014). A child may see a fish breath underwater and believe they too can breathe while swimming
When babies and young children feel valued, secure and trust the people around them, they are more likely to thrive and achieve their developmental goals. Certain areas of development are linked to the strength of attachment that children have with those around them, especially emotional and language development. We also know that children learn from those they have a strong bond with and so cognitive development can also be linked to strong relationships. This is of course equally true with their primary carer, for example their parents, as well as with their key person in their setting.
The development of attachment bonds to other biological figures plays an important role in emotional development. Throughout life, an individual will form several relationships, some of which will be sincere and intimate while others will be superficial. However, collectively these relationships provide the foundation of our communities, families, and friendships and become essential to our survival as a species. A secure attachment bond can be classified as the interactive emotional relationship between a caregiver and infant involving the emotional responses of the caregiver to the infant 's cues (Bowlby, 1969). These emotional responses can be expressed in a variety of forms including gestures, sounds, or even movements. Thus, this interactive emotional relationship between the caregiver and infant brings the two closer together creating an environment that allows the infant to feel safe and secure, further developing their ability to communicate and interact with others (Bowlby, 1969).
The concept of infant-mother attachment is as important to the child as the birth itself. The effect this relationship has on a child shall affect that child for its entire life. A secure attachment to the mother or a primary caregiver is imperative for a child’s development. Ainsworth’s study shows that a mother is responsive to her infant’s behavioral cues which will develop into a strong infant-mother attachment. This will result in a child who can easily, without stress, be separated from his mother and without any anxiety. Of course the study shows a child with a weak infant-mother relationship will lead to mistrust, anxiety, and will never really be that close with the mother. Without the
Infants communicate important aspects of their lives, such as joy, fear, sadness and interest through emotions. In reference to behavioral organization, emotions help regulate social responses and adaptive behavior. Also, infants have negative and positive emotions. Infants’ emotions are influenced by both biological foundations and a person’s experiences. Chapter four provides that in a recent study of 18-24 month olds found that parents’ elicitation of talk about emotions was associated with toddler’s sharing and helping behaviors. Emotional interchanges also help the infant create attachment. Guilt, pride, despair, shame, empathy, and jealousy are all emotions that could potentially appear in the second year, if not before. By age two, infants can use language to define their feelings, such as the phrase “puppy scary”. Emotions are very developmentally important in the second
Children are very complex, unique and varied individuals whose genetics, connections and backgrounds all perform significant roles in their emotional development (Wilson, 2003). The genetic blueprint a child inherits from its parents may plot a course for development but the environment and the influences within can affect how the child is shaped, how they connect with and are perceived by others and how their emotions are or are not expressed. Wilson (2003) points out emotions as an experience that is linked to cognitive interpretation, context, subjective feeling, physical reaction and behavioural expression. Campos, Campos, and Barrett (1989) suggest emotions are processes of establishing, maintaining, or disrupting the relations between the person and the internal or external environment, when such relations are significant to the individual.
Focusing on the surrounds, a child’s non-verbal cues can tell you how they are feeling. This can be experienced through care taking and the emotional exchange that forms the attachment process, even though they are very different ways of connecting with a child. One would be a connection based on the care a parent provides for an infant, while the other is based on the quality of non-verbal emotional communication that occurs between parent and child in the early years of life Ainsworth, (2015).
A mother’s ability to attune, regulate, and respond to an infant has considerable developmental and interpersonal consequences (Bowlby 1988; Shapiro 2012). Repeated proximity-seeking behaviors with primary caregivers lay the foundation for individual strategies that assist in the regulation of emotions and the ability to form intimate bonds (Marmarosh & Tasca, 2013). One’s experiences early on in life create the foundation from which we form our perceptions of self and others, and are associated with the development of neural pathways in the brain that control responses to stress (Marmarosh & Tasca, 2013), and influence future relationships and attachments in adulthood (Snyder, Shapiro, & Treleaven, 2012).
1. Chapter 4 “The First Two Years: The Social World” section “Emotional Development” discusses the significance of variety of early emotions that humans have the experience in their life. The most common and basic forms of emotions that infants present as their age is pain and pleasure. Throughout their life, they develop mentally and physically, as well as learning more emotions that enable them to show expressions, reactions, and reasons that trigger those reactions (Berger, 130) During toddlerhood, between the ages of two and up, emotions are strengthened, for example, toddlers’ laughter and cries are more apparent and amplified. Together with their anger and fear becoming less frequent but directed towards experiences that are terrifying and infuriating. In addition, toddlers often have temper tantrums, “when something angers them, they might yell, scream, cry, hit, and throw themselves on the floor” (Berger, 130) Toddlers’ temper tantrums can even cause more tantrums or worsen the situation if a response from an adult or is negative, like out of anger or teasing the child.
Short-term psychodynamic psychotherapy (STPP) focuses on uncovering the root of emotional suffering. Followers of this therapeutic approach argue against individuals having free will. Our early life experiences and biological drives determine the motivations of the unconscious, which control our actions, thoughts, and behaviors. During our first few years of life, emotions are the predominant form of communication. Having a secure attachment to his or her caretaker is essential to an infant’s survival. If a young child’s expression of emotion provokes a negative reaction from the caretaker, then survival is perceived to be in peril. In order to protect the attachment, young children create defenses to hide those emotions. Because they were formed in the early years, these defenses evolve into habitual adaptive mechanisms that come out when certain feelings are triggered in order to preserve the present relationship. Certain emotions, negative attachment issues, and other early life experiences might cause the adaptive mechanisms to become maladaptive. Even though these defenses may have solved a past problem, they may create greater problems in present relationships. Examining a client’s belief’s, emotions, early life experiences, and thoughts can give insight into recurring patterns (i.e., transference). Awareness of emotional trigger to these defensive unconscious reactions can help begin the process of changing the recurring
It is no surprise that a parent’s mental health and behavior can have an effect on a developing infant’s ability to grow an attachment and a bond with said parent. This holds especially true for the bond between the mother and the infant, be it that on average the mother-infant dyad spends the most one-on-one time together comparatively. According to Raval and colleagues (2001), a parent’s state of mind influences their sensitivity in caregiving behavior, which then has an effect on the child’s attachment pattern/strategy. There are a wide variety of other factors that can have an effect on an infant’s developing attachment style, such as parental states of mind, parental attunement and attentiveness, genetic predisposition, prenatal
Our emotions, whether it is momentary or long term such as fear for birds, can be controlled through “Emotion Regulation” (ER). ER has been defined in all sorts of ways, one definition that this text draws attention to is Calkins (2007), stating ER as the behaviours, skills and strategies regardless of it being automatic or effortful, that modulates affective arousal that facilitates adaptive functioning. ER is a dynamic system categorized into two main maladaptive styles, one recognised as over regulation which relates to internalised behaviours from regulation through self-control (Martins, Soares, C.Martins, Tereno and Osorio, 2012) and under regulation that involves uncontrollable negative emotion outbursts during engagement of goal-directed behaviours (Roberton, Daffern, & Bucks., 2012). What has been made evident through research, is that this dynamic process of self-regulation, begins early in infancy and continues on through the later years in life (Miller, McDonough, Rosenblum., 2002; Martins et al., 2012). The whole dynamic nature of emotions is derived from infancy and the interactions that are shared during those stages. The construction of ER within Martins et al, 2012 has been labelled in two processes, one being intrinsic and the other being extrinsic. This text studies the maladaptive styles of emotion regulating, in particular, the cause of over regulating in infants. Related to ER, this text also highlights the association between infant emotion
Emotion regulation involves intrinsic and extrinsic processing of monitoring and modifying emotional reactions in both positive or negative situations (Martins, 2012). In order for individuals to have the ability to regulate emotions, they must beware of their emotions. Although infants are unaware and lack the ability to regulate their emotions, it then becomes the role of a primary carer to nurture the infant, thus acting as a model for regulating emotions. Evidently, infants grow to reflect the ways in which their carers control and modify their emotions as well as social boundaries. Furthermore, emotion regulation is considered an important aspect of an individuals life as it 'can moderate emotions and keep them in a manageable range