ERIC Number: ED284663
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987-Apr-25
Reference Count: 0
The Effects of Two Parent Figures on Attachment, Exploratory and Sociability Behaviors of Black Infants.
Jackson, Jacquelyne F.
Customarily, several parent figures rear black infants. The effects of this practice on infant-parent attachments have not been studied even though they provide the chance to test the attachment theory contention that infants form a primary attachment when several attachment figures are available. To study this issue, 21 male and 16 female black 12-month-olds from nonindigent families, their mothers, father figures and a stranger were videotaped in a 13-episode separation-reunion session. Infant behaviors rated were proximity seeking, contact maintaining, contact resisting, avoidance, distress at parents' leavings, exploration and sociability with a stranger. Infant-mother and infant-father behaviors were found indistinguishable, suggesting there was no single, primary infant-parent attachment. Moreover, infants were responsive to parents' whereabouts on only one attachment behavior measure. Girls were distressed when alone with the stranger, but boys were not. Exploration, however, was a clear indicator of parents' and the stranger's presence; it was greatest when both parents were present and least when the infant and stranger were alone. The results reveal that two parent figures have equivalent effects on the attachment, sociability, and exploratory behaviors of 12-month-old black infants in a laboratory setting, and have distinctive effects on exploratory behavior. (Author)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (Baltimore, MD, April 23-26, 1987).