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Child Development

In: Philosophy and Psychology

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CHILD DEVELOPMENT

ESSAY

Sensitive Mothering is essential to the social and emotional development of the child. Discuss this statement in the context of relevant development theory.

• Explain what is meant by the term Sensitive Mothering. Explain why sensitive mothering is important in building a positive emotional base.

• Link this explanation to Bowlby’s attachment theory and Ainsworth’s studies. You will need to show an understanding of the internal working model of attachment and how sensitive mothering impacts the quality of attachment.

• Links also need to be made to Erikson’s relevant psychological stages of personality development, emphasizing the importance of a supportive social environment.

• Consider research that determines how early attachment impacts social and emotional development of three to five year olds and adults.

Bowlby (1969 cited in Nicholls & Kirkland, 1996, p.55) states that an important element in the development of secure attachment is maternal sensitivity. This is necessary in order to engender an infant’s confidence in a mother's accessibility and responsiveness. Ainsworth et al (1978 cited in Barnes, 1995, p.14) opine that maternal sensitivity predicts the extent of attachment between mother and infant.

“Mothers who are more sensitive, responsive, accessible and cooperative during their child’s first year are likely to have a child who develops a secure attachment”.
Ainsworth et al, (1978 cited in Barnes, 1995, p.14)

A sensitive mother thus is;

“… alert to perceive her baby’s signals, interprets these signals accurately, and responds promptly and appropriately.
Ainsworth et al, (1978 cited in Nicholls and Kirkland, 1996, p.55)

Sensitive Mothering portrays how a mother interacts with her child and is related to the development of the mother-child relationship. The characteristics of...

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