Cultural Variations in attachment

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as level Psychology Flashcards on Cultural Variations in attachment , created by tara4444 on 04/29/2014.

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Cultural variations in attachment -cultures vary in terms of beliefs, attitudes, norms and values. -one broad distinction can be drawn between individualists and collectivist cultures
individualist cultures -the focus in these cultures is an independence and achieving- what is best for you. -these cultures encourage assertiveness, emotional independence and privacy. -parents set boundaries and give freedom within these boundaries, only intervening when necessary. -leads to children who grow up to be less agreeable and more extravagant.
collectivist cultures -the focus in these cultures is relationships with others and doing what is best for everyone. -collectivists cultures encourage obedience, duty and family integrity. -parents promote values such as helpfulness, working together with their family. -leads to children who grow up to be more agreeable and not very extravagant, more introvert.
cultural differences -these cultural differences influence child-rearing practices around the world. -cross-cultural research as been carried out to explore this issue.
cross-cultural research Research study 1- Van Ijzendoorn and Kroonenberg (1988) conducted a meta-analysis of 32 strange-situation studies which were conducted in 8 different countries. -their findings: ,meta analysis- combines results from a number of studies and analyses the data as a single data set.- a form of secondary data. -secure attachment was the most common in all cultures studied. -the lowest %of secure attachment was shown in China (50%) and the highest in the UK (75%). -avoidant attachment was highest in West Germany (35%) but rare in Israel (7%) and Japan (5%). -resistant attachment was highest in Israel (29%) and lowest in the UK (3%).
results of cross-cultural study Country.... Number of studies....% of each attachment- Secure, Avoidant, Resistant 1. West Germany....3....57%, 35%, 8% 2. Great Britain....1.... 75%, 22%, 3% 3. Israel....2....64%, 7%, 29% 4. Japan....2....68%, 5%, 27% 5. China....1....50%, 25%, 25% 6. United states....18....65%, 21%, 14% overall mean (average) 64%, 21%, 14%
Evaluation- strength -no ethical issues -this is because a meta-analysis was used which involves combining the results from a number of studies and then analyse the data as a single data set. This is a form of secondary data. -therefore, there are no direct ethical issues associated with the secondary data collection and analysis which took place, so it is a sound way to investigate cultural variations in attachment.
Evaluation- weakness -ethnocentric -over half (18) of the 32 studies which were analysed were carried out in America, with a further 9 of the studies taking place in an individualist culture. -this means that collectivist cultures were under-represented and could lead to problems with generalisability. -therefore, this study's findings may not be truly representative of cultural differences in attachment types because they can't be generalised to the whole world.
Study 2: Grossman and Grossman (1991) -German infants tended to be classified as insecure-avoidant rather than securely attached. CULTURAL BACKGROUND- this may be due to different child-rearing practices and German cultural norms, as parents and children generally keep a greater interpersonal distance and as such infants in the strange situation do not engage in proximity-seeking behaviours and therefore appear to be insecurely attached. -therefore, in the strange situation German infants may appear to be avoidant. -this is a valid representation of their attachment type because this is representing the insecure avoidant children as they are taught to keep a greater distance meaning it is not unusual to leave the child for a minute and they are not distressed when the mother leaves.
study 3: Takahashi (1990) PROCEDURE- 60 middle-class, Japanese infants, aged 1 year, both boys and girls and their mothers. -all were raised at home -infants and mothers were observed in the strange situation. FINDINGS- 68% were classified as securely attached -there were no infants classified as avoidant-insecure -32% were classified as resistant-insecure -Japanese infants were more disturbed after being left alone, as such the 'infant alone' step was stopped for 90% of the infants because they became so distressed. -it is suggested that if the infant alone step had not been stopped a higher percentage of infants would have been classified as securely attached, possibly as high as 80%. CULTURAL BACKGROUND- findings suggest there are cross-cultural variations in the way infants respond to separation and being left alone. -differences could be due to the fact that Japanese infants experience much less separation and generally sleep in the same bed as their parents until the age of 2, are carried around on their mothers backs and often bathe with their parents. -the lack of avoidant behaviour in the sample could also be explained in cultural terms. Japanese children are taught that such behaviour is impolite and would be actively discouraged from displaying such behaviour. -the strange situation does not mean the same thing for the Japanese. The strange situation was only intended to cause mild distress, however this was much more stressful for the Japanese infants. -this means that the behaviours observed were reactions to extreme stress, which was not the original aim. -this is a valid representation of their attachment type as the Japanese children have a closer, more personal relationship as they are kept closer and need more affection and attention.
Evaluation of Takahashi and Grossman and Grossman studies- strength -methodology -both used the strange situation as a method of assessing attachment type. -a strength because it is a lab experiment, this uses a controlled observation technique and a clearly operationalised 8 step procedure. -this means the study can be easily replicated and tested for reliability and validity. -therefore the findings can be more reliable and easy to replicate and relied on.
Evaluation of Takahashi and Grossman and Grossman studies- weakness -methodology -the strange situation technique was designed in America and was aimed at being used to assess attachment type in this country. -therefore, it is aimed more as an individualist western culture and children of a different social class or in different countries may show different attachment types when being assessed using this method. -this is clearly a weakness of both studies findings as German children were found to be more insecure-avoidant than American or British infants and Japanese children were seen to be more insecure-resistant. -however, these findings are not a true reflection of attachment types found in these cultures, but more evidence of the fact that the methods of assessing attachment type that they used (the strange situation) is not a valid assessment of attachment type for all cultures. -weakness because Ainsworth's strange situation was developed in America. -it is not a suitable method to use in other cultures because different cultures form different types of attachment.
Evaluation of Takahashi study- weakness -ethical considerations -in Takahashi's study the infants become extremely distressed at the left alone stage. -potential psychological harm needs to be considered due to the extreme distress that the infants were placed under. -Takahashi showed sensitivity by stopping the observations when infants became too distressed, however the study itself was not stopped even though it became obvious that extreme distress was likely. -this is a weakness because the children have never really experienced this before. -the strange situation was not designed to cause distress. -it was to assess attachment form. -this caused extreme distress and should come up with a new way to observe attachment without causing such distress.
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