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"To assess the degree of affection of the child to the one who cares about him, the test“ Strange situation ”developed by Mary Ainsworth (Ainsworth M., 1973) is most often used. The Ainsworth test resembles a mini-performance, the purpose of which is to assess the quality of affection An unfamiliar game room with a lot of toys is used, the characters are the mother, her one-year-old child and the stranger. The mother leaves the room twice in the experiment, then leaving (for 3 minutes) the child with the stranger, then all alone. judged by his reaction to the mother’s departure and return.
The majority with a strong attachment to the mother had a warm and tender relationship with her during the 12 months preceding the test. Subsequent studies have shown that such children are more inquisitive, social, independent and competent than their peers at the age of 2, 3, 4 and 5 years.
Ainsworth found that about 32% of the children were unreliable affection and that this weakened affection took two forms: mother’s avoidance on her return and ambivalence of the infant’s behavior. Such insecurely attached children tended to become addicted to various authority figures over time.
Observations on three groups of children (with firm affection, avoiding and ambivalent) Srouf and his colleagues showed significant differences in their behavior, cognitive development, and communication with peers. For example, at the age of 18 months, children with strong attachment showed more enthusiasm, perseverance, and readiness for joint activities, at 2 years more skillful handling of toys and communication with peers, more imagination in symbolic games. The differences persisted at the age of five. Later, in elementary school, children who were assigned to a group with strong attachment in the first half of the 2nd year of life showed more insistence in their studies, showed a greater desire to learn new skills and more effectively communicated with adults and peers.
Numerous studies have linked the successful psycho social development of a child with the responsiveness of his mother. Ainsworth, during a study of children in Uganda, found out that babies who had the strongest affection in their behavior were very sensitive mothers who quickly responded to the child's inquiries. Mothers of one-year-old children with strong attachment reacted more sensitively to their screams, were more affectionate and gentle, less constrained with close physical contact and better (than mothers of infants with weakened affection) synchronized the schedule of feeding and playing with the baby’s own rhythm of life. Other researchers also confirmed that mothers of such children are more sensitive to their physical needs, their signals that they are ill, and their attempts to establish communication with the help of facial expression and vocalizations.
In fact, it can be said that the child responds to the true love and care of the mother with reciprocal love. At the same time, children who are loved develop better. So did the famous British child psychoanalyst and pediatrician Donald Woods Winnicott, who owns the words: “Without love, a child can be nourished, but an education that is deprived of love and human warmth will never succeed in making it an independent person.”
Disruption of emotional relationships can be caused by the mistreatment of the child. If a child is ill-treated from infancy, he is deprived of the educational relationship he expects, which can have a devastating effect on his entire life. Studies have shown that children who have begun to walk, are subjected to physical violence and do not develop strong attachments, and there are distortions and delays in the development of the sense of “I” and the acquisition of language, processes that go in concert. If babies manage to firmly attach to someone during the 1st year of life, mistreatment during the 2nd year brings them less harm.
Other studies indicate a potentially dangerous combination of two factors: 1) negligent or inconsistent maternal functions and 2) biological (or, in other words, due to temperament) infant's vulnerability. This combination can lead to an unreliable ambivalent affection of the child, who will experience great suffering, outbursts of anger, and subsequent difficulties in social adaptation.
Negatively influenced and imposed, "intervening" care for the mother, which does not take into account the desires of the baby and prevents him from showing his own activity. When a mother’s interaction style with her 6-month-old baby differs by imposing her own will, the child can demonstrate a low level of educational, social, emotional and behavioral skills in the 1st and 2nd grades of the school... "
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