StudyCorgi Psychology

Infant and Mother Behavior Observation

Abstract

This report aims at the representation of the controlled observation results. In particular, the study examined the mother and the reaction of 23 months aged female. To assess the observation, I used the percentage agreement and Cohen’s Kappa coefficient. Such variables as proximity and contact seeking behaviour, contact maintaining behaviour, resistant behaviour, avoidant behaviour, and maternal sensitivity compose the basis for the study. It was revealed that the infant under the study has a secure type of attachment. In spite of the fact that attachment types manifested in adulthood do not inevitably coincide with those established in the infantry, studies illustrate that the first attachment can make a strong influence on subsequent relationships. For example, those infants who formed a secure attachment, as a rule, have a good self-esteem and stable relationships. As adults, they are more likely to create healthy relationships. Therefore, the relevance of this study becomes evident.

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Introduction

The observation was based on the strange satiation analysis. Ainsworth, Blehar, Waters, and Wall (1978) suggested that the experiment should be conducted in one room and directed primarily at how the child meets his mother after the disconnection within several minutes. The purpose of the experiment is to study the peculiarities of the reunion of the mother and the infant. In addition to the existing variables identified by Ainsworth et al. (1978), it is essential to examine one more variable. In particular, maternal sensitivity was studied to achieve more credible results and reveal its connection with the infant behaviour. According to Bornstein and Manian (2013), “the most important aspect of maternal behaviour commonly associated with the security-anxiety dimension of infant attachment is manifested in different specific ways in different situations, but in each, it emerges as sensitive responsiveness to infant signals and communications” (p. 3). In this connection, the aim of this study is to classify the infant’s attachment type and how the identified variable relates it.

Method

Participants

Among the participants of the observation, there is one female child aged 23 months, her mother, and one female stranger. It should be stressed that both the mother and the stranger were friendly and communicative.

Materials

The variables were derived from Ainsworth et al.’s (1978) experiment. Materials used for the study include the following variables: proximity and contact seeking behaviour, contact maintaining behaviour, resistant behaviour, and avoidant behaviour. Also, the variable of the maternal sensitivity was added to the study. All the variables were evaluated in accordance with the seven-scale assessment.

Procedure and Design

This was a case study of a controlled observation. First, I observed the mother and child alone while the latter explored the room by herself. After that, the stranger entered the room and started talking to both the infant and the mother. After a few minutes, the parent left the room. The stranger also left the room after a while. Finally, the mother returned a few minutes after the stranger. Thus, the experiment took place within 17 minutes. It was an advantageous decision to use the three cameras from different angles so that to observe each indicator from different sides of the room.

Results

In order to create the visibility of results, it seems necessary to use a coding framework (Table 1). Speaking of the inter-rater reliability, the study focused on the percentage agreement and Cohen’s Kappa coefficient. The percentage agreement comprises the following results correspondingly: proximity and contact seeking behaviour – 3, contact maintaining behaviour – 4, resistant behaviour – 3, avoidant behaviour -3, and maternal sensitivity – 4. In its turn, Cohen’s Kappa coefficient served as a basis for the seven-scale assessment and composed 80 percent. Thus, based on the results of the study, it is possible to identify the infant’s attachment type as a secure one.

Discussion

After the mother had left the room, the child was not strongly dissatisfied as the stranger took her attention. However, when the infant left alone, she was crying and calling her mother. When the latter returned, the child greeted her with joy yet without strong maintenance for the physical contact. Therefore, this is the secure attachment. More precisely, secure attachment features a stressful condition that occurs in a child, when parents leave him or her alone and joy from the fact that they returned. It is significant to remember that these children feel safe and can rely on the parents (Bowlby, 2014). When the mother leaves, the child tends to become upset. However, as a parent or caregiver is returned, the infant feels confident. Frightened, the infant with a secure attachment type would seek consolation in adults (Marrone, 2014). These infants are sure that their mother is able to provide them with comfort and confidence, if necessary.

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The study revealed a serious impact of the attachment type on the behaviour. The researchers found that attachment styles formed in children early in life can lead to a number of consequences (Hong & Park, 2012). For instance, children who formed the secure attachment in infancy have a more elaborated sense of confidence and are better able to successfully communicate with both other children and adults. In addition, these children also tend toward greater independence and have more abilities to acquire new information. At the same time, they are less prone to depression and anxiety as they grow older.

Moreover, it was reflected that the additional variable of the maternal sensitivity impacts the attachment type as well. The most important factor for the formation of the secure attachment is an emotional availability of mother’s sensitivity. In other words, it is her ability to respond to the signals of the infant, to establish eye contact with her, to synchronize actions, and to engage in dialogue that promotes the secure attachment. Of great importance are also the personal qualities of mothers such as her self-confidence and the correctness of actions that forms her sensitivity.

Conclusion

In conclusion, it should be emphasized that this report analyzed the findings of the observation case study. It was stated that the infant has the secure attachment to her mother. Further, the importance of that type of attachment was also discussed.

References

Ainsworth, M. D. S. Blehar, M. C., Waters, E. & Wall, S. (1978). Patterns of attachment. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Bornstein, M. H., & Manian, N. (2013). Maternal responsiveness and sensitivity reconsidered: Some is more. Development and Psychopathology, 25(4), 957-971. Web.

Bowlby, J. (2014). Attachment (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Basic Books.

Hong, Y. R., & Park, J. S. (2012). Impact of attachment, temperament and parenting on human development. Korean Journal of Pediatrics, 55(12), 449-454. doi:10.3345/kjp.2012.55.12.449

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Marrone, M. (2014). Attachment and interaction (2nd ed.). London, UK: Jessica Kingsley.

Appendices

Table 1. Coding Framework.

Episode 1: Infant and Mother (0-3:11)

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Brief description
Proximity and contact seeking behaviour x Regular communication, close proximity. No physical contact.
Contact maintaining behaviour x Obvious desire to maintain physical contact, little effort.
Resistant behaviour x Slight resistance.
Avoidant behaviour x Slight, isolated avoidance behaviour.
Maternal sensitivity x Communicative.

Episode 2: Infant, Mother and Stranger (3:11-6:04)

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Brief description
Proximity and contact seeking behaviour x Regular communication, close proximity. No physical contact.
Contact maintaining behaviour x Little effort to achieve physical contact.
Resistant behaviour x Isolated but definite instances of resistance.
Avoidant behaviour x Slight, isolated avoidance behaviour.
Maternal sensitivity x Less communicative.

Episode 3: Infant and Stranger (6:05-9:16)

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Brief description
Proximity and contact seeking behaviour x Regular communication, close proximity. No physical contact.
Contact maintaining behaviour x Obvious desire to maintain physical contact, little effort.
Resistant behaviour x Isolated but definite instances of resistance.
Avoidant behaviour x Slight, isolated avoidance behaviour.
Maternal sensitivity x Insufficient attentiveness to the infant.

Episode 4: Infant and Mother (9:35-12:30) 1st Reunion

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Brief description
Proximity and contact seeking behaviour x Little effort to achieve physical contact.
Contact maintaining behaviour x Regular communication, close proximity. No physical contact.
Resistant behaviour x Isolated but definite instances of resistance.
Avoidant behaviour x Slight, isolated avoidance behaviour.
Maternal sensitivity x Less communicative than at the beginning.

Episode 5: Child alone (12:30 – 13:56)

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Brief description
Proximity and contact seeking behaviour x Active and persistent effort to establish physical contact.
Contact maintaining behaviour x Active effort to achieve physical contact.
Resistant behaviour x Slight resistance.
Avoidant behaviour x Slight, isolated avoidance behaviour.
Maternal sensitivity x No sensitivity.

Episode 6: Infant and stranger (13:57- 14:58)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Brief description
Proximity and contact seeking behaviour x Regular communication, close proximity. No physical contact.
Contact maintaining behaviour x Obvious desire to maintain physical contact, little effort.
Resistant behaviour x Slight resistance.
Avoidant behaviour x Slight, isolated avoidance behaviour.
Maternal sensitivity x No sensitivity.

Episode 7: Infant and Mother (15:58 -17:03) 2nd Reunion

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Brief description
Proximity and contact seeking behaviour x Regular communication, close proximity. No physical contact.
Contact maintaining behaviour x Obvious desire to maintain physical contact, little effort.
Resistant behaviour x Slight resistance.
Avoidant behaviour x Slight, isolated avoidance behaviour.
Maternal sensitivity x Insufficient sensitivity.
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StudyCorgi. (2020, December 27). Infant and Mother Behavior Observation. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/infant-and-mother-behavior-observation/

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"Infant and Mother Behavior Observation." StudyCorgi, 27 Dec. 2020, studycorgi.com/infant-and-mother-behavior-observation/.

1. StudyCorgi. "Infant and Mother Behavior Observation." December 27, 2020. https://studycorgi.com/infant-and-mother-behavior-observation/.


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StudyCorgi. "Infant and Mother Behavior Observation." December 27, 2020. https://studycorgi.com/infant-and-mother-behavior-observation/.

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StudyCorgi. 2020. "Infant and Mother Behavior Observation." December 27, 2020. https://studycorgi.com/infant-and-mother-behavior-observation/.

References

StudyCorgi. (2020) 'Infant and Mother Behavior Observation'. 27 December.

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