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Infants and Social/Emotional Development

Maria Collica Empire State College

Infants and Social/Emotional Development 1

Is it a given that the quality of nurturing of the caregiver plays the biggest role in the social and temperamental well being of the child? Yes and no. Infants are born with predetermined characteristics within them. How a caregiver reacts to the infants needs, will certainly be a factor in the child’s well being as they grow. Caregivers, usually mothers, which is the prototype, are the ones who form the first attachment to an infant. How we help the infant grow on these attachments will set the stage for his/her social well being. Attachment relationships should provide a foundation for social learning. Infants of depressed mothers are at risk. They show depressed social behavior, not only with their mothers but also when interacting with strangers. (Steinberg, Vandell, Bornstein. Development: Infancy through Adolescence p153) Researchers have found that attachment patterns established early in life can lead to a number of outcomes. Children who had a healthy and secure attachment during infancy will have a stronger self esteem. The will be less dependent and do better in school with higher grades. Their relationships with other people will be stronger. They are less likely to suffer from anxiety and depression. There are plenty of factors that will affect the social/emotional behaviors of a child: the relationship of parents, the poverty level in which the child is born, and the positive nurturing...

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