Different situations Essay

Published: 2020-01-22 00:40:11
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Based on their reactions to the different situations during the experiment, infants can be classed as one of three Types according to criteria developed by Ainsworth et al. Type A or anxious avoidant infants largely ignore their mother; because of their indifference towards her, play is little affected by whether or not she is present. The baby shows either very few or no signs of distress when the mother leaves and actively ignores or avoids her on her return.

Simply being alone rather than being left by the mother causes distress and the baby is comforted as easily by the stranger as by the mother. Type B or securely attached infants play happily while the mother is present, whether or not the stranger is present. The mother is largely ignored because she can be trusted to be there if she is needed; when she leaves the infant becomes distressed and play is reduced. The baby seeks immediate contact with the mother on her return and is quickly calmed down through contact with the mother and resumes play.

The distress is caused by the mothers absence, not by being alone and although she can provide some comfort, the stranger cannot console the baby as effectively as the mother showing that the baby treats the mother and the stranger very differently. Type C or anxious resistant infants are fussy and wary while the mother is present. These infants cry more and explore less than Types A and B and do not use the mother as a secure base. Although the baby is very distressed by the mothers departure, he shows ambivalence towards her on her return, both seeking contact and displaying anger and resistance.

The baby doesnt return readily to play and resists the strangers efforts to make contact. In samples of infants born to middle-class families in the United States, about 70% of infants were classified as securely attached and about 15% fell into each of the other two categories. In evaluating the strange situation, the stability of these classifications over time is important. Waters (1978) showed a perfect agreement in the classification of infants tested at the age of 12 months and again at 18 months.

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