Mother-Infant Attachment: Effects of Daycare, & Cultural Differences
Research Variables on the (negative?) effects of daycare on children and infants in regards to mother-infant attachment, & cross cultural differences in infant mother attachment.
Regarding the research on the effects of daycare on mother-infant attachment.
Explaining the difficulties in determining the precise effects of daycare on attachment.
The emotional, social and cognitive development effects of daycare on mother infant attachment has been heavily researched and studied, with differing results and conclusions.
More recent research on a large scale by the government has had difficulty determining the precise effects of daycare on attachment.
The security of the child's attachment to the care giver was not proven to be affected merely by placing a child in day care, but rather by other factors regarding the day care and the care givers attention, and similar variables.
Earlier studies found that infants whose mothers stayed at home were more likely to be securely attached than those whose mothers work outside the home and leave the child in day care.
However, there are a number of reasons why the attachment effects are difficult to determine.
The testing method to determine attachment is not reliable.
This is because it relies on the babies' stress levels at being left, and enthusiastic reaction on the mother's return.
However, although babies whose mothers work show up as not having so much stress when their mother leaves, this can simply be due to the fact that precisely because it is a common occurrence, they know that they are not being abandoned, and that their mother will return as usual.
Yet, they may still be securely attached, and just not be showing high stress levels and anxiety, because they know that their mother will return.
Therefore, this test does not accurately determine the effects of daycare on attachment.
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Cross cultural differences in the variables associated with early social and emotional development
Face to Face Interactions and Attachment Varies by Culture
Studies have shown that Japanese mothers direct their infants attention towards themselves- the mothers- for many months, while middle income European American mothers have the most face to face interaction with their babies by 14 weeks of age, after which, the baby's attention is usually directed outward towards their surroundings, rather than their mother.
African American communities tend to face their infants outwards, to encourage interaction and association with the world and culture.
Kaluli mothers carry their infants facing others. They avoid looking into their babies eyes, and usually do not talk to their babies, although they do respond to the babies physical needs, nurse them, and attend to them when they cry.
The resulting babies attachment to their caregivers, and overall development, undoubtedly occurs differently then in other cultures where the interaction and attention is different.
Every Method can have its pros and cons.
It is important to take care of all of your child's needs- both physical and emotional, not just by providing him or her with food, clothing, shelter, and material possessions, but also with love, warmth, smiles, hugs, kisses, and bonding time with the parents, in addition to providing them with opportunities to socialize with other kids of their own age.