PSYC 1 City College of San Francisco Childs Adult Relationships Prediction PaperCourse
City College of San FranciscoDepartment
Mary Ainsworth and her colleagues have done the Attachment research for many many years. Ainsworth has since passed on, but her work continues in studies being done all around the world.
It is rumored that one of Ainsworth’s colleagues made the claim that she can observe a mother-infant interaction for 30 seconds, and make a prediction as to what the child’s adult relationships will be like (!). That’s quite an assertion!
What do you think? Here is the prompt:
Evaluate the idea that the relationship between a primary caretaker and infant (or young child) can predict the infant’s future adult relationships. Consider a person* that you know whose family relationships you are familiar with:
- (6 pts) Describe this person’s (X’s) relationship with his/her primary parent (i.e., mother, or the person who raised X) and describe this person’s current adult-adult relationship (how does X interact with others now as an adult?).
- (3 of 6 pts) Fake example: In regards to my friend X’s relationship with her mother, X’s relationship with her mother blah blah. They often fight about blah blah. When then fight, X always does blah blah. When X was young, they interacted in the same way. (Try to think about these interactions in the context of Ainsworth’s ideas; identify the interactions that resemble the theory)
- (3 of 6 pts) In regards to X’s relationship with other adults, X interacts with meblah blah; when she is mad, she blah blah with me. X gets really blah blah whenever we have fights. (Try to think about these interactions in the context of Ainsworth’s ideas; identify the interactions that resemble the theory)
- (8 pts) Using Ainsworth’s descriptions of the characteristics associated with attachment (use the information in the mini-lecture), identify the kind of attachment style you see in the parent-child relationship and in the adult-adult relationship of this person
- (4 of 8 pts) explain/discuss/show the past relationship behaviors (parent-child) that reflect Ainsworth’s theory;
- Example (this is where you “teach” us about Ainsworth’s theory): I believe that X has an avoidant (or secure or ambivalent) attachment with her mother. an avoidant attachment is when blah blah. an avoidant attachment has these characteristics blah blah. we can see these characteristics in the way X does this behavior blah blah and that behavior blah blah.
- (4 of 8 pts) identify two parallels (or lack of parallels) between the past relationship (parent-child) and the current relationship (adult-adult) that reflect Ainsworth’s theory.
- Example: we can see that the way X’s avoidant attachment with her mother is the same way that X interacts with me. according to the theory, when a child with an avoidant attachment grows up, she becomes blah blah. we see this behavior in the interaction i described earlier when she and i blah blah
- OR: even though X has an avoidant attachment with her mother, she does not act in the way Ainsworth would predict. according to the theory, when a child with an avoidant attachment grows up, she becomes blah blah. but we don’t see this behavior in the interaction i described earlier when she and i blah blah; instead, in X’s current behaviors with me, such as blah blah this and blah blah that), it seems that she has _______ attachment, not an avoidant attachment.
- (1 pt) Given your findings, what do you think about the claims made by Attachment researchers that adult relationships can be predicted? Explain your position.
This should be interesting! (smile)
*Be sure to use a real person that you know; a fake person or a famous person gives no evidence for the theory one way or the other. Also, think twice about writing about yourself when finding a person to use for this discussion. If a colleague chooses to respond to your post, s/he may write something that s/he merely considers to be interesting, but it may feel hurtful to you. This may occur even if you decide to write about yourself as a “friend” that you know. Ultimately, it is your choice to decide who to write about, but please be aware that it may feel awkward.