Effects of early experience and culture on adult relationships

AQA A-level Psychology A: Relationships

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Effects of early experience and culture on adult relationships by Mind Map: Effects of early experience and culture on adult relationships

1. Continuity Hypothesis

1.1. The claim that early relationships with our primary caregivers provide the basis for later adult relationships - child develops an IWM and a characteristic attachment style which provide the child with beliefs about themselves, other people and relationships in general.

1.1.1. Could instead be because of social learning theory - children learn relationship skills via modelling from role models (parents) Parke (1988) - families indirectly influence their child's later relationships as they guide and modify the child's social behaviour to help them develop social skills Russell and Finnie (1990) - Australian pre-school children - children who were classed as popular had mothers who suggested strategies to help the child interact with others and to ease them into the group - children classed as neglected had mothers who tended to encourage their child to play with toys and materials but did not offer ways of helping them with interaction - rather than attachment type, popular children are tight important social skills by caregivers.

1.2. Peer relationships provide young people with the opportunity to develop and practise 'social competence' - relationships skills and abilities - a child's attachment classification may influence their popularity with peers - children who are 'secure' are more socially skilled.

1.2.1. Alpern et al (1977) - longitudinal study - infant attachment type at 18 months is the best predictor of problematic relationships with peers at age 5 - disorganised attachments struggled the most.

1.2.2. Hartup et al (1993) - children with a secure attachment are more popular at nursery and engage in more social interaction - insecurely attached children are more reliant on teachers for interaction and social support.

1.3. As children get older, they spend less time with parents and more with peers so friendships become increasingly intimate.

1.3.1. Bee (1995) - teenagers use their peer group to make the transition from the protected place within the family to the wider adult world.

1.3.2. Feeney and Noller (1992) - students - Ps with avoidant attachments more likely to break up - evidence for changes in attachment type when relationships change from casual to committed - attachment type is not completely fixed

1.3.3. Hazan and Shaver (1987) - North America - volunteer sample - asked which description was most relevant a) uncomfortable being close to others, untrusting, reluctant b) easy to get close, comfortable, not worried or c) others are reluctant, insecure - strong relationship between adult relationships and childhood attachment types. Self report measures - demand characteristics - social desirability - relies on memory

1.4. Evaulation

1.4.1. Early relationships do not always predict later ones - other factors can affect relationships e.g. life events Zimmerman et al (2000) - children in germany - child attachment type did not predict adult attachment type - life events e.g. divorce or death of close relatives had much more influence on later security. Hamilton (1994) - children can move from secure to insecure attachments when major life events take place

1.4.2. Methodological issues - demand characteristics prone in these studies Sternberg and Beall (1991) - Ps often give the answers they perceive to be 'correct' - asked to recall often fuzzy memories of relationships with parents.

1.4.3. Relationship styles might not be consistent across different relationships Feeney and Noller (1992) - adult relationships can vary - the same individual can be in a secure relationship with one person but an insecure relationship with another person.

1.4.4. Cause and effect cannot be established Hartup et al (1993) - researchers know little about the extent of cross-age linkages between attachments and later adult experiences - inability to assess cause and affect means that a child's temperament may influence their early attachment styles and later friendships.

2. Culture

2.1. Relationships in collectivist cultures have been described as obligatory (arranged marriages), permanent and collectivist (seen as alliances between families rather than individuals).

2.1.1. Arranged marriages are the most common form of marriage in collectivist cultures Batabyal (2001) - arranged marriages are based on the idea that young people are unlikely o make the right choice when choosing a lifetime partner as they are likely to choose on the basis of attraction which is unlikely to produce a lasting, stable relationship - in modern relationships the 'agent' has a great deal of choice when deciding and is given opportunity to refuse. Umadevi et al (1992) - Indian students - women from both professional and non professional backgrounds were happy with the idea of arranged marriages when involving consent of both party's as well as being comfortable with love marriages when parents approved - highlights importance of family approval in collectivist cultures. Gupta and Singh (1982) - India - compared arranged marriages and love marriages - 'love scale' - in love marriages, scores were higher at the beginning but then decreased - opposite in arranged marriages, at 10 years the score exceeded that of a love marriage. Contradictory findings suggest that we cannot generalise findings across different countries

2.1.2. Arranged marriages in individualistic cultures generally occurs where people from collectivist cultures have migrated to an individualistic culture, however by being exposed to the views of their new cultural group and this may cause changes in thinking and behaviour (acculturation). Zaidi and Shuraydi (2002) - Pakistani, muslim women from Canada - interviews - the most favoured Westernised wedding practices involve greater amounts of partner choice - fathers are resistant to change. Demonstrates the importance of considering arranged marriages in Individualist cultures and the need for regular research to 'map' cultural changes. Berry (1986) - relationship choices facing second and third generation immigrants to Individualistic society Integration - keep the values of the home culture, but relate to the dominant culture Assimilation - give up home culture and take on the views of the dominant culture Separation - keep the home culture and do not integrate with the dominant culture. Marginalisation - give up home culture but fail to take on the dominant culture

2.1.3. An urban environment could influence relationships, where there is a larger choice of partners and fewer restrictions. In this sense there may be an illusion of free will with people thinking they can have more choice, though in reality, they are still limited by personal characteristics, e.g. appearance, social status and ethinicity, as well as being restrained by the chances of meeting someone they find attractive.

2.2. Culture is a set of cognitions and practises that identify a specific social group and distinguish it from others

2.3. Evaluation

2.3.1. Oversimplification of cultures into only two variations, where cultures tend to be more diverse. The distinction may not be reliable as cultures can change.

2.3.2. Free will: little choice over who they can be with as there are numerous factors limiting their options, even in western society.