Date of Graduation
Master of Science in Human Environmental Science (MS)
General Human Environmental Sciences
Second Committee Member
A child's early attachment experiences can have a lasting impact on later development. Early attachment relationships often result in greater social and cognitive skills, as well as better school performance (Peisner et al., 1999). For these reasons, it is important to address those components that may contribute to secure attachments with care givers in the child care setting. The current study looked at the reactions of infants and toddlers when presented with two previously unknown individuals: one who physically resembled an established caregiver with whom they had already established attachment and one who looked different from this caregiver. The study utilized a mixed method design that included parent and teacher questionnaires, as well as video recordings of the interactions between children and two new individuals. The process used for the video recordings was an adapted version of the Strange Situation developed by Mary Ainsworth and colleagues (Ainsworth & Bell, 1970). The 13 infants and toddlers who participated in the study experienced 5 sessions, which included their teacher, a session with an adult who looked similar to the teacher, and a session with a dissimilar looking adult. Findings indicated that children did display more acceptance behaviors with individuals who looked similar to a current caregiver. Data on video recording was broken into 3 categories: affect, child bids, and child response to adult bids. Paired t-tests determined that all session comparisons except for Sessions 2 and 4 for affect, and Sessions 2 and 4 for child response were statistically significant (P=.05). Cohen's Kappa was used to determine parent and teacher agreement for indicators of attachment. A moderate agreement was found for the cling/smile category (.57), and a fair agreement was found for the remaining three categories: crying (.22), following (.28), and reaching (.32).
Hamilton, Jessica, "A Comparison of Infant and Toddler Reactions to Strangers who Have Similar Attributes to an Established Attachment Figure vs. Strangers who Have Different Attributes" (2015). Theses and Dissertations. 1142.