The Effects of Child Family Interaction Essay

Child and household interaction: the scene

The scene shows Eaton Kerr, a yearling, in a happy and playful household exposure shoot with other members of his household. These household members are his female parent, Kerry ; his male parent, Jonathan ; and his doting 8 twelvemonth old brother, Jordan. The Kerr household lives in Northern Ireland.

Kerry is clearly enamoured of her small male child. In her ain words, she “ca n’t bear to be off from him” and could merely “gobble him up” . This is likely intensified by the fact that Eaton had been an elementary baby, who slept good, ate good and seldom cried. Kerry and Jonathan seemingly had an easy clip in the first few months after his birth. This is apparent in the insouciant and relaxed mode that can be seen with the full household.

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However, one and a half old ages subsequently, Kerry is hankering for a babe miss. Having antecedently lost two female kids, and presently raising two small male childs, Kerry hungrinesss for a female kid. A scene in which she strokes her Canis familiaris ‘s caput yearningly could possibly be an index of how much she craves another kid. Kerry has a inclination for possible fatal blood coagulums, which is typically increased in gestation. Despite past medical complications and a clear apprehension of the associated hazards, Kerry is determined to prosecute her dream. She is booked into the infirmary for a medical scan to measure possible hazard of cerebrovascular or cardiovascular events during gestation. The consequences are dashing and confirm that a gestation could be lifethreatening for the immature female parent.

Intelligibly, Kerry is dejected by the forecast, and four months subsequently, she still has non come to footings with the results of the scan. Her terrible degrees of unhappiness culminate in clinical depression: she is perpetually unhappy and tired ; has lost all motive to transport out even everyday mundane undertakings ; and finds no pleasance in things that usually make her happy ( anhedonia ) . The loss of her two babe misss in the past appears to be invariably on her head and she keeps photo scans of the embryos which would function as a changeless negative reminder. The fact that she has named these two progeny ( Jordana and Caitlin ) shows the deepness of the fond regard she feels for them. In add-on, it seems she has late lost her male parent – all these are text edition triggers for clinical depression. Using the DSM-1 categorization of mental wellness diseases, Kerry ‘s depression would be classified as terrible, as she confesses to holding had suicidal ideas.

It is a well-known fact that depressed female parents find it hard to react to their kids ‘s demands. In a hapless effort to train her yearling, Kerry tries to implement rigorous upbringing regulations which are frequently non suited to Eaton ‘s developmental stage. This is clearly corroborated by the grounds of Eaton ‘s corresponding stunted development. However, the small male child is shown as endeavoring to obey his female parent, merely going rebellious at the often-dreaded bedtime etc, therefore demoing marks of his first conflict for independency at 18 months.

Poor sleep hygiene that is common among down patients is besides turn outing to be debatable in the mother-child relationship. In the picture, sorting worlds harmonizing to their slumber forms, Eaton is categorised as a lark – early to bed and early to wake ; while Kerry is a beliing bird of Minerva – who is up till tardily at dark and, accordingly, corsets in bed boulder clay tardily in the afternoon. This means that Eaton is frequently up, for hours, sometimes for up to three and a half hours, shouting for his female parent before he gets any attending. He is losing legion conflicts for his independency in this ‘power battle and is larning that he has no control over his environment. Although it is non voiced in the videotape, the changeless absence of Eaton ‘s male parent, Jonathan, suggests possible household jobs. He has to go forth for work early as he helps run the household energy concern, and appears to be blissfully incognizant of the jobs in his place. Therefore, Kerry is likely traveling through these hard times entirely. Without the critical household and societal support, her depression is likely to decline and would basically adversely impact on her small male child.

Child development

As Kerry is unable to actuate herself to make anything, she is besides incapable of exciting the immature Eaton. Her evident insensitiveness to his emotional demands is clearly apparent and would be damaging to the kid ‘s development. This is seen with simple trials as outlined below:

  • Advancement testing: carried out by a kid development specializer with image books and block forms. The consequences of this showed that Eaton could finish less than one tierce of his undertakings and is behind other kids of his chronological age.
  • Empathy testing: utilizing a scientifically based questionnaire, Kerry scored high on the empathy testing. However, she has been unable to go through this on to Eaton who scored really low on these trials, holding a inclination towards blazing aggression towards non merely his female parent, but besides to his eight-year old brother, Jordan. This kind of behavior could take to strong-arming traits in the hereafter.
  • Interaction experiment: this shows that Kerry is unwilling to let Eaton grow and learn. By restricting his playday to dally and games that do n’t excite him, she is unwittingly restricting his development, likely in an unconscious and neglecting effort to further fond regard to her. It seems she does n’t desire him to derive independency, but would instead he stay dependent on her.

Analysis of child-mother interaction: a literature reappraisal

Attachment theory

John Bowlby ‘s fond regard theory is a psychological and ethological description that helps to explicate an baby ‘s fond regard to a parent or health professional. Infants become affiliated to grownups who are sensitive and antiphonal in their interactions with them. The manner a parent responds to their immature baby in different state of affairss is cardinal to the development of forms of fond regard in the kid. These forms are the skeletal model that guides the kid ‘s feelings, ideas and outlooks in subsequent relationships ( Bretherton et al, 1999 ) .

Harmonizing to Bowlby ‘s theory, through physical and emotional intimacy with a parent or health professional, the kid develops an internal working theoretical account, reflecting the parent ‘s ain response to him/her. In Eaton ‘s instance his idea procedure might mirror the insensitiveness that he has experienced from his down female parent, and could potentially do jobs in the hereafter.

Family kineticss: a secure base

The point of fond regard should ideally supply a unafraid base from which the kid can research the environment and return when he/she feels fearful. If Eaton lacks that secure oasis, his mental wellness would be compromised.

In his book, A Secure Base, John Bowlby ( 1998 ) describes the induction of the mother-infant interaction. He highlights an initial elation and utmost possessiveness instantly after bringing. This stage was likely apparent in Kerry, in the first few months when she stated her joy and reluctance to allow Eaton out of her sight. However, the good documented lively societal interaction jumping with stages of detachment may hold developed a marked consequence of the latter stage, particularly after the put offing consequences of her hospital scan.

Peri- and post-natal conditions that could impact ( hinder or Foster ) positive fond regard and the effectual formation of a secure base, as outlined by Bowlby ( 1998 ) are outlined below:

  • Adequate support for the female parent with other facets of family jobs, etc.
  • A secure base for the female parent herself
  • Length of separation from the babe in the hours and yearss following bringing
  • Birth experience
  • Attitudes and outlooks expressed by the female parent during her gestation

It is non clear from the brief cartridge holders of the videotape which, if any, of the above factors are applicable to Kerry ‘s experience. However, construing non-verbal communicating and visual aspects, I think it is possible that Kerry receives small or no support around the house, particularly as Jonathan departs for work early and eight-year old Jordan would be if limited aid. This proposed deficiency of support could intend that Kerry does non hold her ain personal security base and might hold been in demand of confidences. While we are non secluded to Kerry ‘s birth experience during the bringing of small Eaton, her past medical history, in add-on to that statement “I ‘ve cheated life one time alreadyaˆ¦” , suggest that she may hold had a hard gestation, which, in add-on, could hold led to prolonged periods of separation from her neonate in the periods instantly following the birth.

The Maternal Deprivation Theory

Revisiting the controversial ‘maternal want ‘ theory, in the World Health Organization study on Maternal Care and Mental Health, Bowlby ( 1951 ) explored the effects of want of maternal attention. Maternal want is non limited in definition to female parents who are physically absent from their baby ‘s lives ; it besides applies to female parents who are non sensitive or antiphonal to their kid ‘s demands. In this study, Bowlby concluded that a warm, intimate and uninterrupted child-mother relationship, in which both parties find satisfaction and enjoyment, is indispensable. Lack of such a satisfactory relationship could take to important and irreversible mental wellness deformities.

The instance of Eaton and his female parent, Kerry, could be seen as a authoritative illustration of the maternal want theory. While Kerry is present physically, her ain self-admitted deficiency of motive and uninvolved attitude is non equal to further that close relationship with her 2nd boy. As highlighted by Bowlby and subsequently his close co-worker, Mary Ainsworth ( 1962 ) , Eaton could be at hazard of holding some mental jobs in the hereafter, if a timely and effectual intercession is non implemented.

The long-run effects of hapless child-family interactions

The effects of the hapless maternal and perchance paternal interaction which Eaton is accustomed to can non be overemphasised. In a recent survey utilizing a conceptual theoretical account derived from the fond regard theory, it was shown that attachment anxiousness and low empathy significantly increases the odds of kid molester position ( Woods and Riggs, 2008 ) . Furthermore, attachment insecurity in childhood is linked to projecting behavior and higher and stable forms of depressive behavior at the adolscence phase ( Allen et al, 2007 ) .

Besides, conversely, turning away of intimacy in down female parents is implicated in the development of internalising symptoms in their kids, because persons who are avoidant of intimacy, logically, are hapless attention givers ( Whiffen et al, 2005 ) . Research besides shows that babies and yearlings of down female parents are at increased hazard of developing attachment insecurity and behavioral troubles than offspring of nondisordered female parents ( Cicchetti et al, 1998 ) .

Detecting the effects of maternal depression on societal knowledge and behavior in parent-child interactions, Lovejoy ( 2007 ) depressed female parents, as a group, exhibited more negative behavior. Furthermore, maternal depression was found to be associated with negative parent-child interactions and more negative, albeit reasonably accurate, perceptual experiences of child behavior. This factor could be a major implicating factor in the evident hapless development that Eaton shows.

An older survey by Seiner and Gelfand ( 1995 ) showed that enacted maternal backdown and depression led to yearlings physically retreating from their female parents, doing more negative physical commands for attending and by and large going unfocussed and negative, exposing their hurt in a developmentally appropriate mode. In add-on, the kids made no effort to soothe their female parents ; this can be related to Eaton ‘s unsympathetic reaction to his female parent ‘s evident hurt in the picture.

There are legion other surveies in the literature that explore the negative impact of hapless interaction between kid and female parent ( or care giver ) . There is a clear association between fond regard and maternal depression, and the development of the receiver kid.

Recently, Vieten and Astin ( 2008 ) evaluated the effectivity of an eight-week mindfulness-based intercession during gestation on antenatal emphasis and temper. Their findings demonstrate that female parents who received this intercession showed significantly reduced anxiousness and negative consequence during the 3rd trimester in comparing to those who did non have the intercession. It is well-documented that emphasis and negative temper during gestation increase the hazard of hapless childbearing results and postpartum temper jobs and may interfere with mother-infant fond regard and kid development. Consequently, such intercessions may be polar in back uping female parents in readying for child bringing.


In the class of research for this write-up, I have a gained a greater apprehension of the fond regard theory and the function of the “secure base” in modeling a child’s development. More significantly, I am now cognizant of the demand to supply as much support to the female parent as is expected for the neonate. This is particularly the instance for at-risk female parents. Partners and household members need to be a portion of the support programme to guarantee that female parents receive the attention and security they need in order to efficaciously transport out their freshly acquired responsibilities.