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Maternal Depression - Essay Example

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Hi, my name is My topic reviews research on attachment effects of maternal depression and the relationships with their child. I have taken a developmental approach to the topic, as it incorporates the bio-psycho-social model.
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Maternal Depression
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Download file to see previous pages Major depression is serious mental distress, and for a family, one person experiencing depression can affect the entire household. One research focus has been into the attachment effects of maternal emotional states on child relationships.
Maternal depression may be due to changes in hormone or neurotransmitters levels, other physiological changes, partner discord, loneliness, or unwanted pregnancy, to name a few (Herring & Kaslow, 2002). It has been observed a child of a mum experiencing depression is more likely to experience social, emotional and learning difficulties.
Attachment is the emotional bond that grows between the child and caregiver (Bowlby, 1968/1982). Attachment processes facilitate a child in future relationship building. Often in western societies the mother is the primary caregiver.
John Bowlby (1969/1982) developed a theory about a child's relationship with its mother that was paradigmatic shift in how familial relationships were viewed. After reading Lorenz's (1935) paper on imprinting, Bowlby had empirical support for rejecting Freud's reason of sensuous oral fixation. The mother-infant bond was more than oral gratification and mother love.
He used concepts form ethnology to investigate and explain child-mother relationships. Spitz (1962) and Erikson (1960) encouraged Bowlby to explore the idea of critical periods in a child's psychological development (cited in Bowlby, 1969/1982). Especially, he focused on a critical period for bonding to occur, and initiated studies into mother-child separation. He also incorporated theories of Fabian (1952) and Winnicott (1965) of object relations, and so emphasized interpersonal relationships, particularly within the family (cited in bowlby, 1969/1982). Bowlby believed he could help children, through helping their parents.
Bowlby suggested that the newborn has a set of instinctual responses (suckling, holding, following) that it uses to form bonds with the mother. These interactions develop significantly at around 6 months of age. Bowlby considered the child's behaviors of following and holding as more important than suckling and crying in forming attachment relationships with the mother.
Bowlby concluded that a healthy adult required an infancy of warm, intimate and continuous relationships that brings satisfaction to them both.
Mary Ainsworth (1968) supported Bowlby's ethnological approach to the development of attachment relationships with a primary caregiver. She also drew on Blatz's (1940) security theory that rejected Freud's theories. Security theory holds that young infants must develop a secure attachment to parents in order to explore the world confidently, to leave a solid base (cited in Aisnworth, 1968).
Ainwsorth and her colleagues developed the "Strange Situation" (1971), a method that was able to test Bowlby's theory of attachment. She ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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