Child Development "The Quality Of The Relationship Essay

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Child Development "The quality of the relationship between parents and young children is one of the most powerful factors in a child's growth and development," (Brotherson, 2005, p. 1). Research unequivocally supports the notion that a young's child's social and emotional well-being is enhanced through the development of positive attachments, especially in the first three years of life. It is important to research and understand the issue of attachment in early childhood because of the social factors that prevent the development of healthy attachments, including the fact that many fathers and mothers work full-time during the first three years of their child's life. Leaving children in the care of secondary caretakers has become an essential means of making ends meet for many families, and yet it might have a strong bearing on the child's eventual psychological growth and development including psychological and emotional well-being. Consistently, research has revealed "negative associations between maternal employment during the first year of life and children's cognitive outcomes at age 3 (and later ages)," (Brooks-Gunn, Han & Waldfogel, 2003, p. 1052). Factors related to early childhood development and parental attachment are, furthermore, universal and not dependent on cultural context. The World Health Organization (2009) states, "early childhood is the most important phase for overall development throughout the lifespan" and this is true for biological and brain development as well as emotional and mental development. A child's social and emotional well-being is enhanced through the development of positive attachments in the first three years of life.

As Thompson (2001) points out, "early experiences and relationships matter," (p. 20). All theorists that have examined childhood development account for the importance of the first three years...

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Freud, for instance, emphasized the first three years of life almost to the exception of later childhood in terms of the psycho-sexual development of the infant. Freud described infant emotional development in terms of infant sexuality, and believed that personality was formed within the first few years of life in response to maternal attachments (Davis & Clifton, n.d., p. 1). The psychoanalytic point-of-view has matured since Freud, and has encompassed a more complex view of infant and early child development. However, psychoanalytic psychology still stresses the importance of early relationships with parents and attachment theory. The psychoanalytic attachment theories are substantiated with empirical research. For example, research reveals the infant's "need to feel secure and safe, a state that can be achieved through proximity to the major caregiver (typically the mother)," (Silverman, 1994, p. 1). The ways an infant then externalizes the attachment with the mother become its patterns of social behavior and its emotional state. As Silverman (1994) states, "These early patterns of attachment get internalized as 'working models'; the infant's patterns of attachment become habituated, generalized and then internalized as schemas," (p. 1). Researchers working within the psychoanalytic framework also " stress the significance of mother-child interactions which organize affect regulation for the infant," (Silverman, 1994, p. 1). Thus, psychoanalytic theory shows that social behaviors and affect regulation are learned within the first three years of life.
Social learning theories like those of Erikson, Bandura, and Vygotsky also support the assertion that a child's social and emotional well-being is enhanced through the development of positive attachments in the first three years of life. Erikson's theories of child development begin with…

Sources Used in Documents:

References

Belsky, J. & Rovine, M.J. (1988). Nonmaternal care in the first year of life and the security of infant-parent attachment. Child Development. Vol. 59, No. 1 (Feb., 1988), pp. 157-167

Brooks-Gunn, Jeanne, Han, Wen-Jui & Waldfogel, J. (2002). Maternal Employment and Child Cognitive Outcomes in the First Three Years of Life: The NICHD Study of Early Child Care. Child Development 73(4): 1052-1072.

Brotherson, S. (2005). Understanding attachment in young children. NDSU Extension. Retrieved online: https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:yid4mF2O0HcJ:www.ag.ndsu.edu/pubs/yf/famsci/fs617.pdf+&hl=en&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEESipHzJnj3jwaFvNOfadieU9Hm5SGZHZOLg0r9QO1QL-cEdt6_zquVn4pRA0zOQywVbCART3nk-obmfyTHQnM6BNzTMtZxmzHIm7JFloG7PvyA8kblXYcMzqKJJXNJi03g89deu3&sig=AHIEtbTu0NmiNlPIVWfsvozgKv1AwAFeFw

Davis, D. & Clifton, A. (n.d.). Psychosocial theory: Erikson. Retrieved online: http://www.haverford.edu/psych/ddavis/p109g/erikson.stages.html
World Health Organization (2009). Early child development. Retrieved online: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs332/en/


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