Developmental Psychology
Social Development
Learning Outcomes
General framework (applicable to all topics in the
• To what extent do biological, cognitive and
sociocultural factors influence human
• Evaluate psychological research (that is, theories
and/or studies) relevant to developmental
Learning Outcomes
Social development
• Examine attachment in childhood and its role in
the subsequent formation of relationships.
• Discuss potential effects of deprivation or trauma
in childhood on later development.
• Define resilience.
• Discuss strategies to build resilience.
Examine attachment in childhood and
its role in the subsequent formation of
• John Bowlby 1907-1990
• Developed Attachment theory
• Studied children from the WWII who had been
separated from their parents.
• Found that many had emotional problems and
linked this to separation from their mother.
• Believed that attachment was an innate pattern
and helped infants to survive.
• Basic biological need.
• If deprivation – permanent and irreversible
Internal Working Model
• Infants develop working models of the world
based on the development of a secure and
attachment relationship with a parent or
• In such a situation, the child develop aworking
model of the world as safe and secure.
• Oterhwise – negative working models (the
world is dangerous, frightening…)
• It will change and incorporate new ways.
Internal Working Model
• If the child experiences love and affection, he
or she come to see himself or herself as
worthy of love and attention.
• If they have experienced neglect and rejection
they might develop a model of denial (or on
the reality)
The Strange Situation
• Mary Ainsworth 1913-1999
• developed Bowlby’s ideas and came up with how
to test attachment theory empirically
• - called the strange situation paradigm
• She was a student to Bowlby
• Conducted research in Uganda (1967) and then in
Baltimore (U 1971) studied children and mother
interactions: resulted in SSC
The Strange Situation
• Studies the child’s reaction to separation and
reunion with the attachment figure (often the
1. The parent and child are alone in the room
2. The child explores the room without parental
3. A stranger enters the room, talks to the
parent and approaches the child
4. The parent quickly leaves the room
5. The parent returns and comforts the child
Types of attachment
• Type A – avoidant (20% of the children)
• Type B – Securely attached (70% of the
• Type C – ambivalent (10 % of the children)
• Type D – insecure-disorganised/disorganised
attachment (came later – 1986, by Main and
The Strange Situation - Mary
One example of “a strange situation”
What is your attachment style?
• This interactive survey takes about 5 minutes
to complete. The questionnaire is designed to
measure your 'attachment style'--the way you
relate to others in the context of intimate
Evaluation of the attachment theory
and the strange situation
Evaluate using:
1. Gender
2. Culture
3. Method
4. Ethics
• Any thoughts?
• Read p. 197-199 if you need help
The role of early attachment in the
subsequent formation of relationships
• Internal working models continue throughout
the lifespan
• Relationship between the experience of
attachment in childhood and adult love
Hazan and Shaver’s Love Quiz
• Read the following statements and indicate
which paragraph best describes your attitute
to close relationships – on page 200 (A, B or C)
Hazan and Shaver’s Love Quiz’s
research 1987
• Put in a newspaper and asked for volunteers
to pick ”a box” and to describe their parents’
parenting styles.
• 620 people answered (self-selected), 14-82
years old, mean age 36. 205 males and 415
• Second sample of 108 college students.
Hazan and Shaver’s Love Quiz’s
• 20% showed A (anxious-avoidant:
”unresponsive, rejecting”)
• 60% showed B (secure attachment: ”attentive
and responsive”)
• 20% showed C (anxious- ambivalent: ”anxious,
sometimes responsive”)