Student number: 21353279 Attachment and EmotionalUnderstanding in Preschool Children It isimportant for children to be able to acknowledge the emotions they have as wellas the others around them.
Children reply on this to secure a positiveattachment relationship with their family and peers. This is important insimulating a child’s comprehension of emotions, especially negative emotions. Attachmenttheorist have empathized the importance of parent child attachment in a child’slearning of their self and others. Child-parent attachment is crucial in achild learns about themselves and others.
They may do this by creating ‘Internalworking models; when a child is influenced by how they observe their parentstreating them and other people. Thus, creating a basic prinaples for child toreflect on when wanting to know how they should treat not only their peers butthemselves. The researchwas conducted by Deborah Laible and Ross Thompson, 1998. This study focused on establishingif there was a relevant relationship between attachment and emotionalunderstand in preschool children. The researchers used forty children (21 boys and 20 girls)between the ages of 2.5 and 6 years and their mothers (aged between 23 and 41years old) to participate in the study. 95% of the participants were Caucasian.Liable and Thompson started by giving the children’s mothers two tasks tocomplete.
The mothers had to complete a questionnaire where they had to predicthow their children would react or feel in certain situations. The mother’sresponses were used to design one of the tasks for the children. Additionally,they were given an attachment Q-set. The children were also given two tasks tocomplete at their preschools specifically designed to calculate their emotionalunderstanding. For the first task, the children were shown three felt puppetsmake twenty small illustrations. Twelve of these illustrations were designedusing the questions completed by the mothers. After each story, the researcherused four different possibilities to ask the boys how the male puppet felt andthe girls how the female puppet felt. For the second task, they were interviewedabout random yet realistic events of emotion between their peers.
This is basedon work from Fabes et al (1988). These observations took place at the preschoolfor about four weeks (for about one to three hours a day) until five interviewswere taken with each child. This had to include as a minimum one interviewabout a positive emotion and one negative emotion. During theinterviews (total 264) about random yet organic situations that took place. Onaverage 3.85 of the interviews per child responses with a positive emotion,compared to 2.
23 of the interviews per child responses to a negative emotion. Whileattempting to calculate the overall emotional understanding of the preschoolchildren it was important to look at all the contributing factors such as; age,gender and attachment security. Age was a very significant contributing factoras the results suggested that the older children preformed significantly betterthan the younger children. The preschool children’s emotions were recorded inbasic categories; mad, sad, afraid and happy. Securely attached children weremore likely to recall the positive events compared to insecure children weremore likely to recall the negative events. When looking at the emotions with apositive notion age added a significant amount of the variance, as the olderchildren performed a little better than the younger children in understandingpositive emotions. Gender and attachment security did not have any impact onthe increase in the variance in the understanding of positive emotions. Incomparison when looking at emotions with a negative notion, age also added a significantamount of the variance.
As again the older children performed better than the youngerchildren in the understanding of negative emotions. Similarly, gender did nothave any impact to improve the variance. However, the children with a higherattachment security scores outperformed the children with lower security soreson understanding negative emotions.
Inconclusion, this study wanted to clarify the relationship between attachmentand emotional understanding in preschool children aged 2.5 and 6 years old. Thestudy highlighted a few issues in the developmental understanding thatpreschool children have when expressing and feeling emotions. The correlation betweensecurity and emotional understanding is not very clear, this is because it isvery complicated and many key factors such as gender and age have an impact ona children’s emotional understanding. Children who have presented to have asecure attachment, scored higher on the overall emotional understanding tests comparedto those who were presented to have an insecure attachment. Overall olderchildren preformed much higher then the younger children in both tasks andhighlighted the remarkable developments in emotional understanding throughoutthe preschool years. References Laible, D. J.
, & Thompson, R.A. (1998). Attachment and emotional understanding in preschool children.Developmental Psychology, 34, 1038-1045.