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Sensitive Mothering Is Essential To The Social And Emotional Development Of The Child. Discuss This Statement In The Context Of Relevant Developmental Theory

2767 words - 12 pages

Sensitive mothering is essential to the social and emotional development of the child. Discuss this statement in the context of relevant developmental theory.

Explain what is meant by the term sensitive mothering. Explain why sensitive mothering is important in building a positive emotional base. (15)
- Give a definition of sensitive mothering (also consider insensitive mothering).
- Link this to a positive or non-positive emotional base.

Link this explanation to Bowlby’s attachment theory and Ainsworth’s studies. You will need to show an understanding of the internal working model of attachment and how sensitive mothering impacts on the quality of attachment. (25)
- Outline ...view middle of the document...

Explain what is meant by the term sensitive mothering. Explain why sensitive mothering is important in building a positive emotional base. (15)
- Give a definition of sensitive mothering (also consider insensitive mothering).
- Link this to a positive or non-positive emotional base.

Link this explanation to Bowlby’s attachment theory and Ainsworth’s studies. You will need to show an understanding of the internal working model of attachment and how sensitive mothering impacts on the quality of attachment. (25)
- Outline Bowlby’s theory of attachment, showing evidence of how the ethological studies of Harlow and Lorenz, and his own research with war orphans and evacuees and juvenile delinquents impacted his theory.
- Determine the phases of attachment and the development of the internal working model of attachment.
- Consider Ainsworth’s research and the types of secure and insecure attachments that resulted from the research.
- This needs to be linked back to mothering style and the internal working model of attachment that each infant is developing.

Links also need to be made to Erikson’s relevant psychological stages of personality development, emphasising the importance of a supportive social environment. (15)
- Consider Erikson’s psychosocial theory of personality, especially the first stage, and link to mothering style and the internal working model of attachment that each infant is developing.

Consider research that determines how early attachment impacts on the social and emotional development of three to five year olds and adults. (20)

- Look at research undertaken with 3-5 year olds and how early attachment impacts social interactions, and also the adult attachment interviews to determine the long term effect of early mothering styles.

This paper will discuss the concept of ‘sensitive mothering’ (Ainsworth in Sylva 1989) as being vital to the social and emotional development of the child, elaborating on various developmental theories and how they interconnect. It will present the concepts of attachment theory encompassing the ‘internal working model’ (Bowlby, 1988) of attachment in children and adults. It will discuss the contribution of Mary Ainsworth to this theory as well as Erik Erikson’s stages of personality development, with focus on the first years of life, and the impact attachment has on the social and emotional development of an individual in adulthood.
Ainsworth (in Sylva, 1989) believed that sensitive mothering is an important element in the development of a satisfactory mother –baby attachment. The term sensitive mothering refers to someone who is responsive emotionally and physically available for her child. The carer is cooperative and attuned into the child’s needs and provides the child with a ‘secure base’ (Bowlby, 1988) from witch he/she can begin to explore the world. A caregiver who is highly responsive and available to their child will more likely have infants that...

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