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Infant Attachment In Child’s Development

Infant Attachment In Child’s Development

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Infant Attachment In Child’s Development


The idea of attachment parenting is an idea of psychology that applies the theory of attachment parenting. Attachment parenting is said to help children become adults who are able to develop very safe and caring relationships.

The tears are signals that can hardly leave insensitive mothers early in life. Initially, they are seen as signals of distress to soothe faster. Tears are a first interaction contexts wherein the mother to baby provides its main stimulations. Korner (1984) is irritability as a factor, initially facilitating interventions and maternal stimulation. But when the baby is irritability associated with low Consolability, it may appear as a risk factor for interactive failures, tears are perceived as very unpleasant and sometimes unbearable. Some cases of abuse or death have been reported in babies who cried persistently and were uncontrollable (Boukydis and Lester, 1985). Clinicians (Lebovici Stoléru, 1983) recognize that baby irritable and difficult to console can quickly deplete physical and psychological resources of a mother, even if it has a good ability to detect signals from the child and there reply.

Under the theory of attachment Bowlby (1969), the study of irritability is more important than the tears are one of the first attachments that the child has at birth behaviour. How the mother responds will translate its availability, sensitivity, and therefore influence the nature of the pattern of attachment. The purpose of this literature review is to show why and through what process irritability can affect early interactions with the mother, and therefore the attachment to be presented to one year relationship.

The link between maternal sensitivity and attachment styles: the work of Ainsworth

According to attachment theory, the characteristics of the baby affect the attachment relationship to the extent that they make care more or less easy to provide a satisfactory manner. These are the maternal behaviours the main determinant of the attachment relationship. Ainsworth (1979, 1986) focuses on the intrinsic quality that appears through these behaviours, i.e., maternal sensitivity. She considers sensitive mothers who are warm, attentive to their baby's signals and respond appropriately and in a short time to their needs, especially during the first three months of life. Differences between types of attachment and children are related to differences in maternal sensitivity. A child showing a secure attachment age one would have benefited from the availability of its mother during the first year and, under stress or danger, knows he can count on it. By cons, a child with insecure attachment would not have benefited from the foundation of trust and security by maternal insensitivity that he experienced in the first months of his life.

This concept of sensitivity appears through other terminologies according Pecheux (1994), the term "adjustment" that would be the least bad translation of the English term "responsiveness". The concept of "contingency" put forward by Greenspan and Lieberman (1980) is also very close to Ainsworth meant by "maternal sensitivity" since, to the authors, a behaviour is called "contingent" in relation to the baby's when interpreted as a direct and appropriate response to infant cues and matches its goals such as the observer assesses. Despite the multiplicity of terms, definitions and consistent authors designate the same phenomenon: the ability of the mother to receive signals from the child to interpret the correct way to give them an appropriate response to knowledge, in accordance with the expectations of the child.

In the literature, maternal sensitivity was assessed in many ways. In Ainsworth sensitivity scales, it is to assess the behaviour of mothers during the first quarter of the baby's life in six nine-point scales. These scales are related to the ability of the mother to perceive things from the perspective of the baby, the mother feels pleasure in the baby's ability to accept the baby interferes with the proper life of the mother, the accuracy of interventions of the mother in interaction, the amount of physical contact, the effectiveness of maternal responses to infant crying. Crockenberg (1981) measures the sensitivity by calculating the ratio of the average number of seconds before a mother responds to the distress signals of her child. Van Den Boom (1994) notes the observations of mother-infant whenever the mother responds quickly (within 3 seconds), contingent and appropriate to the child's cues interactions. Farran et al. (1986) use the scale "Parent / Caregiver Involvement Scale" by quoting the adequacy of maternal behaviour to the child's cues. The use of these tools or methods of evaluation depends on the age of the child, the situation interaction (standardised or not). This multiplicity is due to some researchers as Van IJzendoorn (1995) by the fact that the sensitivity is a fuzzy concept, "that lack of conceptual clarity." This criticism is mainly based on the meta-analysis and Alansky and Goldsmith (1987) to estimate the correlation between maternal sensitivity and infant attachment type is, according to research, low or medium (between. 20 and .30).

Although in Ainsworth design, only a limited interest is given to the influence of the characteristics of the baby on the mother's behaviour, she still wondered about children who later present an insecure attachment, type C that is to say avoiding anxious. It recognizes them as "constitution difficult (...) and anxious attachment is then form all the more clear that the personality or the situation of the mother would make it less responsive to signals of the child" (Ainsworth, 1986). It does not ignore the influence of the characteristics of the baby on maternalsensitivity and raises the question of to what extent the pattern of infant attachment is due to maternal behaviour, and to what extent the characteristics and temperament of the child? Thus, it evokes, but it noted, without really looking, influence behaviour of the baby on the attachment system and states that "regardless of the role played by constitutional features of the baby in the establishment of the pattern initial mother-infant interaction, it is clear that the contributions of the mother and child are taken in an interactive spiral"(Ainsworth and Bell, 1969). Therefore, the characteristics of the child does not directly influence the type of attachment as claimed by some temperamentalist authors (Kagan, 1984), but may affect the nature of maternal behaviour. Main (1998) shares the view of Ainsworth and also considers the indirect role of the child's behaviour on the attachment relationship with the mother

Influence of irritability on maternal sensitivity and attachment styles Another common, influenced by the work of Bell (1979), emphasizes that maternal sensitivity is not the only factor influencing the type of attachment and other factors should be considered in conjunction with maternal sensitivity understand the precursors of attachment. One of these factors is the temperament of the child, or at least its characteristics. In the study by Seifer et al. (1996), maternal sensitivity assessed at 6 and 9 months is less related to the type of attachment the child has one year that child temperament measured at the same ages.

Van Den Boom (1988) was particularly interested in the influence of irritability on maternal sensitivity and the type of attachment. For Van Den Boom and Hoeksma (1994), which followed children from the age of one month to one year, mothers of irritable children are 6 months interactive behaviours different from those of non-irritable mothers of children : they commit fewer visual and physical contact, especially stimulate their child through objects without engaging in a real interactive game show fewer episodes of healing and are less sensitiveto positive signs of their baby, while the two groups of children are no longer distinguished by their irritability at the end of the first quarter Thus, according to these results, the children crying and forgo one year, they develop an attachment anxiety types (type A rather that is to say, anxious ambivalent, and sometimes type C). Susman-Stillman et al. (1996) show the same way that the relationship between infant irritability and type of attachment is subject to the influence of maternal sensitivity. It is possible to increase the sensitivity of interventions for mothers parallel reduce the irritability of the child and thus lead to interactions promoting good quality secure attachment. Calkins and Fox (1992) describe two cases regarding the attachment of fussiness. In the first, children in the first year, resent the frustration and stress, they are more active and excited. Parents are then able to think that they are manifestations of independence and decided to give them a greater autonomy and an attachment of type A, avoiding anxious, may be established. In the second case, irritable children have difficulties to adapt to change and novelty, they are less active but difficult to soothe. Parents not knowing how to react when, adopt inconsistent behaviour. Exacerbated the needs of the child's attachment to add uncertainty about the nature of parental responses, which lead the child to have a C-type attachment, anxious ambivalent. Grossman and Grossman (1991) showed that neonatal irritability is more correlated to the attachment relationship at 18 months to 12 months. Irritable children are more likely to have an insecure-avoidant than insecure-ambivalent attachment types. The relationship between neonatal irritability and maternal sensitivity influencing the attachment relationship is found in different research studies. Fish, Stifter, and Belsky (1991) found that babies who cry a lot at birth and less than 5 months of very careful unlike children who continue to cry five months mothers. Van Den Boom (1991) refrains from adopting a relationship of cause and effect to explain the link between the characteristics of infant and maternal sensitivity. If temperament, studied through irritability, represents a development of insecure attachment factor, it does not necessarily mean the final outcome will depend on how maternal sensitivity was affected by the characteristics of the child.

Representations of irritability and maternal sensitivity

Interest in child temperament, stems from the proliferation of assessment tools. Temperament questionnaires completed by the mother are preferred because they are fast, easy to administer and have the advantage of providing an opportunity for the mother to watch her baby. However, it is noted that for a long time the main criticism addressed to them was on the fact that their agreement with observations made by an outside observer was low. In recent years, research has shown that the gap between maternal representations of the child's temperament and temperamental actual data was an indication of interactive failures. We take the words of Lombard, Larroque and Kaminski (2000), "Rather than a handicap, this type of assessment may be contrary to a real clinical intake, assessment of the temperament of the child by the mother reflecting a form of mother-child interaction."


By studying the literature, especially rich in American studies, it appears that neonatal irritability have effects on sensitivity assessed during the first half of the mother’s life. This relationship is not straightforward because there are many factors that can influence it. Mothers of newborns irritable being less sensitive to their children, they present one year more an anxious attachment. Through these results, we raise a debate between the temperament and attachmentalists. While initially, they saw the type of attachment and temperament as two independent factors, the research cited showed that new designs appeared. Temperament or characteristics of the infant does not directly influence the type of attachment that the child presents. These are mainly maternal attitudes that determine attachment security but may themselves be influenced by the way the child expresses his emotions. According to its characteristics, the baby may affect the quality of the relationship with his mother and then develop strategies based on that commitment. The relationship between child temperament and attachment security is mediated by maternal sensitivity (Vaughn and Bost, 1999). This does not preclude the fact that the mother is influenced in its attitudes, a representational system that depends on his personal experience. Pierrehumbert (2003) translated the words of Bowlby (1969), which seem pretty close to this idea: "A newborn can easily help an insecure mother to give her proper care. Conversely, a difficult and unpredictable newborn can tip the balance in the other direction."

Although the studies reported involve children "healthy" and not particularly "at risk", they show that neonatal irritability is a factor to consider in the prevention of interactive failures. Ziv and Cassidy (2002) describe irritable infants as more vulnerable in that they are more sensitive to maternal behaviours because more dependent on them in control of their emotions and their behaviour. They seem to rely more than others on the sensitivity of their parent. It is important to recognize and show the specific needs of irritable infants. One possibility is in intervention programs such as those developed by Van Den Boom (1994) with the aim of making more responsive to signals from the mother baby.


Ainsworth M.D., Bell S. M.: “Some Contemporary Patterns Of Mother-Infant Interaction In The Feeding Situation”, In Ambrose A. (Ed): Stimulation In Early Infancy, Academic Press, London, 1969.

Ainsworth M.D.: “Attachment As Related To Mother-Infant Interactions”, In Rosenblatt J.S., Hinde R.A., Berr C., Busnel M (Eds): Advances In The Study Of Behaviour, Academic Press, New York, 1979.

Ainsworth M.D: "Attachment", In R. Zazzo (Ed): The First Year Of Life, University Of France Press, Paris, 1986.

Bell R.Q.: “Parent, Child And Reciprocal Influences”, American Psychologist, 1979; 34 (10): 821-826

Bowlby J.: Attachment And Loss, Volume I. Basic Book, New York, 1969. Calkins S.D., Fox N.A.: “The Relation Between Infant Temperament, Security Of Attachment, And Behavioural Inhibition At Twenty-Four Months”, Child Development, 1992; 63: 1456-1472

Crockenberg S.B.: “Infant Irritability, Mother Responsiveness, And Social Support Influences On The Security Of Mother-Infant Attachment”, Child Development, 1981; 52: 857- 865

Farran D., Kasari C., Comfort M., Jay S.: The Parent/Caregiver Involvement Scale Training Manual, Franck Porter Graham Child Development, Centre Chapal Hill, Nc, 1986. Fish M., Stifer C.A., Belsky J.: “Conditions Of Continuity And Discontinuity In Infant Negative Emotionality: Newborn To Five Months”, Child Development, 1991; 62: 1523-1537.

Goldsmith H.M., Alansky J.A.: “Maternal And Infant Temperamental Predictors Of Attachment: A Meta-Analysis Review”, Journal Of Consulting And Clinical Psychology, 1987; 55: 805-816

Greenspan S., Lieberman A.: “Infants, Mothers And Their Interactions: A Quantitative Clinical Approach To Developmental Assessment”, In Greenspan S., Pollock G. (Eds): The Course Of Life, Volume 1. Infancy And Childhood, Washington 1980.

Grossman K., Grossman K.E.: “Newborn Behaviour, The Quality Of Early Parenting And Later Toddler-Parent Relationships In A Group Of German Infants”, In Nugent J., Lester B., Brazelton T. (Eds): The Cultural Context Of Infancy, Volume 2. Norwood: Ablex Publishing Corporation, Vol 3-38, 1991

Kagan J.: The Nature Of Child, Basics Books, New-York, 1984. Korner A.F: "Individual Differences At Birth And Their Implications In The Field Of Child Care Practices," Child Psychiatry, 1984, 27 (2): 418-431. Lebovici S., S. Soléru: The Infant, The Mother And Psychoanalyst, Centurion, Paris, 1983.

Lester B.M., Boukydis C.F.: Infant Crying: Theoretical And Research Perspectives, Plenum, New York, 1985. Lombard I., Larroque B. Kaminski M.: "Temperament Infant (1-4 Months): Validity Of The French Version Of The Early Infant Temperament Questionnaire" Neuropsychiatry Of Childhood And Adolescence, 2000; 48: 234-244. Main M.: "From Attachment To Psychopathology", Childhood, 1998, 3: 13-27

Why women do not they suffer more stress at work?

Because many known causes of stress characterised predominantly female jobs and given the additional constraints that domestic work subjecting women, one might wonder why they do not suffer more stress. Them more effective and more frequent use of social support and coping mechanisms focus more on the tasks have been mentioned above. The data also indicate that Lasanté physical and mental health of working women, whether they have children, is better than the inactive. Women whose health is the best are working women, married with children. In other words, even if the labour market increases the stress, it also provides social contacts and other benefits that do not exist at home.

Example Of An Intervention On The Coping In A British Administration

A stress management programme was implemented in a British administrative service employing 25,000 employees. This organisation had gone through a period of reorganisation, resulting in a decrease in job satisfaction and increased stress levels. In their intervention, Whatmore and others (1999) have sought to improve the individual coping employees. In all, 270 employees (including 157 women) participated in the study. The authors studied three areas: education and awareness, physical exercise and cognitive restructuring. The improvements seen in people who participated in exercise programs and awareness persisted after three months and for exercise programs after six months. Cognitive restructuring did not, however, equally good results. The interventions had no effect on organisational variables, that is to say, job satisfaction and personal commitment. Self-reported absenteeism decreased in the group who participated in the exercises, but increased in others. The authors concluded that management interventions targeted at individuals stress sometimes produce good results, but for them to be sustainable, we need to identify and reduce the factors of organisational stress.

Let us discuss each of the employment issues and their epidemiologies briefly. Nowadays, it has become a difficult task for the employers to monitor and maintain the sickness absence in both small and large firms. There are large numbers of epidemiologies that deals with this problem. Some of the employers find this epidemiologies to be the most crucial one. Let’s take into consideration some of the finest of these and how they are put into practical work. The role of occupational health specialists concerning sickness monitoring is the most important one. Studies have it that there are limited studies on the favourable impact of occupational health on efficiency and performance of the workers, but there is a recognised marked reduction in the absenteeism of the workers (McCunney, 2001). There are various aspects in which the workermay go for sick leave. It may be due to job pressure, due to unhygienic job environment, due to robust policies of the company, due to childcare problem or maybe the worker does have genuine illness. Occupational health providers look into all of these prospects and design various epidemiologies to cope up with the sickness absenteeism. Occupational health providers go for counselling with both the employer and the employee so that the problem can be sorted out accordingly. Occupational health providers arrange back to work interview with the employer so that the real insight of the problem of the worker can be known. If interview is not possible, in that case an appraisal must be arranged. At the same time, occupational health providers make the worker realize the drawback of sickness absence so that the employer is informed about the sickness beforehand in order to maintain the absent report. Occupational health providers arrange an informal meeting of the employer and the employee so that all the concerns of the worker can be addressed personally. Occupational health providers also do look into possibility for part time opportunity if the worker is not able to make up regularly at the office depending on the case rather than suspending or terminating the employment contract as this is against the employment law. Occupational health providers do focus to change the work environment into friendly one with flexible timings, late check-in and early check-out for the workers, recreational activities, membership for the gym and swimming pool. Employers are also advised to arrange for bonuses in order to avoid much sick leaves. Finally, Occupational health providers also do look into all possibilities whether the worker is being harassed or not and to take disciplinary actions against it and initiate supportive programme for all those who do have chronic illness.

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