BP 4

BP 4

In the New York Longitudinal Study (1977), it was discovered that infants typically fell into four categories or “temperament types”: Difficult, Easy, Slow-to-warm-up, and a fourth group in which traits did not fit well into the previous categories. Using the goodness of fit model, there is a relationship between a child’s temperament and the caregiving received from the primary caregiver. Infants with a difficult temperament may show high levels of activity, withdrawal or rejection to a new experience, and an overall negative mood. A difficult baby may benefit from a caregiver who is especially sensitive and responsive during the early infancy stage. Because babies are developing emotion regulation in this early stage, a highly responsive caregiver could help calm a highly reactive and difficult baby. Infants that are easy babies feature traits such as a short period of adaptation, a generally positive mood, and longer periods of attention. A parent who is less sensitive and responsive to the infant’s needs could result in an insecure attachment of an easy baby. Slow to warm up babies are typically difficult when looking at fearfulness and can be more wary. However, they react less intensely and are less negative than a difficult infant. For insecurely attached infants, fearfulness has been found to predict the type of insecurity (Broderick & Blewitt 2015). A caregiver’s responsiveness can determine if a baby becomes securely or insecurely attached and therefore low responsiveness would result in an insecure infant. All attachment between caregivers and children is dependent upon the quality of care given and received.


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