ERIC Number: ED205301
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Aug
Effects of Mother Photographs on Separation Distress.
Passman, Richard H.; Longeway, Kathleen P.
This study was designed to identify some of the individual physical features of the mother that promote adaptive responding of 2-year-old children in a novel environment. Previous studies have suggested that any ambiguous stimulus configuration might be effective if the child can be led to perceive it as his mother. After being separated from their mothers, 48 children (20 to 30 months old) were given either an unrecognizable or a sharply focused photograph of their mother to carry with them in an unfamiliar playroom. A female escort either correctly identified the photograph for the child ("this is a picture of your mother") or mislabeled it as a picture of a stranger ("this is a picture of Mrs. Jane Smith"), or gave it no verbal label. Children were observed for 5 minutes and the durations of the time they spent playing with toys, gazing at the photograph, or holding the photograph were recorded. All instances of spontaneous verbal labeling of the photograph were also recorded. Results indicated that those children who were presented with a clear photograph of their mother not only held, looked at, and spontaneously identified the picture more than did children with an unrecognizable image, but that they also played, explored, and remained in the playroom longer. These results suggest that adjustment during necessary separations such as day care and hospitalization may be enhanced by providing young children with a photograph of their mother. (Author/MP)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (89th, Los Angeles, CA, August 1981).