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Children Social Development Stressors


Developmental Stressors


Think about developmental stressors that will impact a particular developmental level.  Develop a list of 3 developmental stressors for that developmental stage.

How Children Act Out

•Fussing, whining, crying/screaming, tantruming.

•Throwing, mouthing, breaking, destroying.

•Messing, dirtying.

•Passive, clinging.

•Running away.

•Ignoring, non-complying.

•Taking, hitting, biting, swearing.

Reasons Why Children Act Out


•Temperament (impulsive/reactive)

oThomas, Chess & Birch

•State (tired, not feeling well, hungry, uncomfortable)



•Lack of understanding

•Demands too difficult

•Lack of coping skills

•Need to assert independence



•Too difficult

•Lack of opportunities to control

Psychological/ Relational

•Lack of trust/caring for adult


•Lack of sensitivity to adults and others' feelings/state





•Process through which people develop specific, positive emotional bonds with others.

•Parenting or care giving is the nurturing response of the caregiver to the child.

•Synchrony or interactions that are rhythmic, well timed, and mutually rewarding establish attachments.

The Development of Attachment

•Goal-corrected partnership, or as the child becomes aware that other people have their own separate points of view, they begin to include the other person’s needs and goals into their plans.

•Stranger anxiety develops during the second half of the first year and reflects the baby’s discomfort or tension in the presence of unfamiliar adults.

•Separation anxiety occurs at about nine months, when infants give another indication of the intensity of their attachment to their parents by expressing rage and despair when their parents leave.

Formation of Attachments with Mother, Father, and Others

•The amount of time the infant spends in the care of the individual.

•The quality and responsiveness of the care provided by the individual.

•The individual’s emotional investment in the infant.

•The presence of the individual in the infant’s life over time.

Four Patterns of Quality of Attachment

•Secure Attachment – actively explore environment and interact with strangers while their caregiver is present.

•Anxious-Resistant Attachment – are very cautious in the presence of a stranger and their exploratory behavior is noticeably disrupted by the caregiver’s departure, upon return of the caregiver the child is very hard to comfort.

•Disorganized Attachment – noticeable in the reunion sequence, infants have no coherent strategy for managing stress and behave in contradictory, unpredictable ways that seem to convey a feeling of extreme fear or utter confusion.

The Relevance of Attachment to Later Development

•The nature of one’s attachment influences expectations about the self, others, and the nature of relationships.

•The formations of a secure attachment relationship are expected to influence the child’s ability to explore and engage in their environment with confidence.

•From a life-span perspective, the quality of the attachment formed in infancy influences the formation of later relationships (friends, romantic, and collegial), but is not the sole determinant).

Quality of Attachment

•The quality of children’s attachment is related to the nature of the experiences that children have with their primary caregivers.

oPatterns of parent child interaction.




Witness violence.

oAdoption/ Foster care/Institutionalization.

Patterns of Attachment

•Measured by children’s reaction to separation from the parent.

o12 to 24 months of age

oStrange situation

Secure attachment

•A toddler who is securely attached to his or her parent:

oExplores freely while the parent is present.

oTypically engages with strangers.

oOften visibly upset when the parent departs.

oIs generally happy to see the parent return.

•Securely attached children are best able to explore when they have the knowledge of a secure base to return to in times of need.

•Secure attachment can be seen as the most adaptive attachment style.

•Children become securely attached when the parent is available and able to meet the needs of the child in a responsive and appropriate manner.

Anxious-Resistant Attachment

•Children with an anxious-resistant attachment style typically:

oExplore little (in the Strange Situation).

oOften wary of strangers, even when the parent is present.

oBecomes highly distressed when the mother departs.

oGenerally ambivalent when mother returns.

•Denoted as "Group C" infants.

oC1 "...resistant behavior is particularly conspicuous. The mixture of seeking and yet resisting contact and interaction has an unmistakably angry quality and indeed an angry tone may characterize behavior in the pre-separation episodes…”

oC2 demonstrate 'passive' resistance. “The most conspicuous characteristic of C2 infants is their passivity. Their exploratory behavior is limited throughout the SS and their interactive behaviors are relatively lacking in active initiation. Nevertheless, in the reunion episodes they obviously want proximity to and contact with their mothers, even though they tend to use signaling rather than active approach, and protest against being put down rather than actively resisting release...In general the C2 baby is not as conspicuously angry as the C1 baby.”

Anxious-Avoidant insecure attachment

•Children avoid or ignore the parent when she returns (in the Strange Situation)—showing little overt indications of an emotional response.

•Children treat the stranger similar to the parent.

•Anxious-avoidant infants are denoted as "Group A" infants and they are further sub classified into A1 and A2 infants.

•A1 infants display:

o"...Conspicuous avoidance of the mother in the reunion episodes which is likely to consist of ignoring her altogether, although there may be some pointed looking away, turning away, or moving away...

oIf there is a greeting when the mother enters, it tends to be a mere look or a smile...

oEither the baby does not approach his mother upon reunion, or infant approaches in 'abortive' fashion with the baby going past the mother, or it tends to only occur after much coaxing...If picked up, the baby shows little or no contact-maintaining behavior; he tends not to cuddle in; he looks away and he may squirm to get down.”

•A2 infants demonstrate mixture of avoidance and resistance. Often judged Disorganized:

o"...[The A2 infant] shows a mixed response to mother on reunion, with some tendency to greet and approach, intermingled with a marked tendency to move or turn away from her, move past her, avert the gaze from her, or ignore her...there may be moderate proximity-seeking, combined with strong proximity-avoiding...If picked up, the baby may cling momentarily; if put down, he may protest or resist momentarily; but there is also a tendency to squirm to be put down, to turn the face away when being held and other signs of mixed feelings [i.e., resistance/ambivalence].

Disorganized attachment

•Disorganized attachment can be conceptualized as the lack of a coherent 'organized' behavioral strategy for dealing with stress.

•Children experience their caregivers as either frightening or frightened.

oA frightened caregiver is alarming to the child, who uses social referencing techniques such as checking the adult's facial expression to ascertain whether a situation is safe.

oA frightening caregiver may display aggressive behaviors towards the child (either mild or direct physical/sexual behaviors).

•Parental behaviors that are frightening put the child in an irresolvable paradox of approach-avoidance.

oMay explain the 'stilling' and 'freezing' behaviors observed in children judged to be disorganized.

•Human interactions are experienced as erratic, thus children cannot form a coherent, organized interactive template.

•Parental abuse is associated with disorganized attachment.

Implications of Attachment

•Research indicates associations between early attachment classifications and peer relationships.

oSecure children:

Have more positive and fewer negative peer reactions

Establish more and better friendships.

oInsecure children tend to be:

Followers rather than leaders.

oInsecure-ambivalent children tend to:

Anxiously but unsuccessfully seek positive peer interaction

oInsecure-avoidant children tend to be:

Aggressive and hostile and may actively repudiate positive peer interaction.

•Behavioral problems and social competence in insecure children increase or decline with deterioration or improvement in quality of parenting and the degree of risk in the family environment.

•Early Secure attachment appears to have a lasting protective function.

Other Thoughts about Attachment

•Attachment is a continuum.

•Attachment is not fixed in infancy.

•Parental depression and mental health affect children's attachment.

•Parents’ experience of attachment may influence the way they form attachment relationships with their children.

•Multiple caregivers affect children's attachment.


Title: Children Social Development Stressors
Length: 1 pages (275 Words)
Style: APA


Children Social Development Stressors

Children tend to learn to accept the existence of other individuals’ perspectives in this stage. Children should not be brought up in dictatorship setups but environments where opinions are respected. This will give the child necessary skills that will enable him or her socialize with his or her peers and adults. A child should not be egocentric, but learn to care about others for peaceful relations.


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