Mary Ainsworth Case Study

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Mary Dinsmore Ainsworth
AMRC
Mary Ainsworth carried out the Strange Situation Procedure with the aim to investigate how infants aged 12-18 months were attached to their mothers.
In order to achieve this, she asked approximately 100 middle-class American families with 12 to 18-month-year-old infants raised at home to undergo eight different three-minute phases. It would begin with the experimenter introducing the mother and the infant to the experiment room. This phase would last less than one minute. After the introduction, the experimenter would exit the room to leave the mother and infant alone. A stranger would join the mother and infant before the mother withdrew from the room unobtrusively. The infant had to stay with the stranger for three minutes before the stranger left and his/her mother returned. The mother would exit again, leaving the infant in the room. The stranger came back to the room for three minutes before the mother returned to end the experiment.
The observers would record five categories of infant behaviours: proximity and
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The overall mean of the infant attachment styles percentages calculated by Van Ijzendoorn & Kroonenberg for their meta-analysis corroborated with Ainsworth’s results. However, the results obtained by Takahashi, who performed experiments on Japanese infants deviated from Ainsworth’s results despite the fact that both experimenters asked middle-class families with 12 to 18-month-old infants to participate with the only difference being their cultures, the independent variable. As an explanation, Durrett, Otaki, and Richards pointed out that according to Japanese cultural norm, infants and their mother would rarely separate, which resulted in the removal of the “infant-alone” stage in 90% of the trials. When they attempted the Procedure again with modern Japanese families where mothers leave their infants at home for work, the outcomes supported Ainsworth’s
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