ERIC Number: ED333993
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Culture and Normative Developmental Models: Anglo and Puerto Rican Mothers' Perceptions of Attachment Behavior.
Harwood, Robin L.
This two-part investigation attempted to formulate culturally sensitive definitions of desirable and undesirable attachment behavior. Participants were 3 sociocultural groups of 16 mothers each: middle-class Anglo mothers, lower-class Anglo mothers, and lower-class Puerto Rican mothers living on the U.S. mainland. All mothers had at least 1 child between the ages of 12 and 24 months. In Study 1, indigenous concepts of desirable and undesirable attachment behavior were elicited using open-ended probes. Mothers were asked to describe: (1) qualities they would and would not like their children to possess as they grew older; (2) a toddler they knew with positive qualities and one with negative qualities; and (3) how each toddler would behave in a situation designed to simulate the phases of the Strange Situation. On the basis of mothers' responses, culturally sensitive vignettes of desirable and undesirable Strange Situation behavior were constructed, and culturally relevant descriptors of toddler characteristics were selected. In Study 2, mothers' perceptions of the hypothetical toddlers in the culturally sensitive vignettes were compared, both in terms of their relative overall desirability as well as in terms of the culturally relevant descriptors of toddler characteristics. Findings indicated that mothers' culturally derived values influence the meanings they give to individual differences in Strange Situation behavior. (RH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Cultural Sensitivity; Vignettes
Note: Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (Seattle, WA, April 18-20, 1991).