Universality Of Attachment Theory

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Cultural Differences in Child Attachment and The Universality of Attachment Theory Although attachment theory has been widely accepted, its universality is controversial. Some research support its validity across cultures, some do not. The main critique about the universality of attachment theory is that it is based especially on research that is conducted in Euro-Western populations. This causes suspicions about whether attachment theory is valid across diverse cultures. In this paper, I will present a literature review of four cross-cultural research to examine the universality of attachment theory. These four research were carried out in Euro-Western and non-Western countries, and they focused mainly on universality hypothesis of the attachment…show more content…
32 Japan mothers and 39 U.S. mothers participated in the study. They had an interview that included 10 questions (Rothbaum, Kakinuma, Nagaoka, & Azuma, 2007). The results showed both cultural similarities and differences. Desirable and undesirable behaviors are similar for both cultures. As original attachment theory suggests, desirable behavior is associated with security and undesirable behavior is associated with insecurity by mothers. Also consistent with attachment theory, mothers believed that socially desirability of children was related to responsiveness of their mothers (Rothbaum, et al., 2007). On the other hand, there were found some differences between Japan and U.S. cultures. Rothbaum et al. (2007) stated that “When describing the child with desirable characteristics… United States mothers focused on a much greater range of attributes-involving personality, social skills, character, and a host of specific traits- than did Japanese.” (p. 481). Whereas Japanese mothers mentioned mostly social roles, responsibilities, etc. In Japan child-rearing practices mother and infant are almost always together. Co-sleeping, co-bathing, etc are very common, and this creates dependence (Rothbaum, et al., 2007). Whereas U.S. practices encourage independence and exploration, so the child learns how to deal with absence of the caregiver. Rothbaum and his colleagues (2007) maintained that because Japan practices are based on promoting dependence and not promoting independence and exploration, the infants cannot be categorized as insecure in

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