Chapter summary imageHow do we develop healthy, nurturing, and moral relationships?

HOW DO WE FORM BONDS OF ATTACHMENT?

  • Attachment is an emotional bond between a newborn and caregiver.
  • Touch and familiarity are vital to attachment. Many animals have a critical period during which normal development takes place. In some species, this manifests through imprinting.
  • According to Ainsworth’s strange situation test, the behaviour of a caregiver can determine whether an infant forms secure or insecure bonds of attachment.

WHAT ROLES DO PEERS PLAY IN SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT?

  • Play is an important form of socialization for children. It is universally gender-specific, encourages skill development, and often reflects the values and skills of an individual culture.
  • A sense of identity is established during adolescence. Adolescents form two kinds of peer groups: cliques and crowds. Until they have a firm sense of self, teenagers are subject to peer pressure that can result in risky behaviour.
  • Emotional ties with parents loosen during emerging adulthood. Adulthood is often characterized by the ability to establish intimate, caring relationships and find career fulfillment.
  • According to the socioemotional selectivity theory of aging, as people get older, they focus on enjoying the present rather than looking to the future. They also pay closer attention to loved ones and less attention to casual acquaintances.

HOW DO WE DEVELOP MORALITY?

  • Morality develops in adolescence and young adulthood. According to Kohlberg, moral reasoning develops through six stages. Few people progress beyond level four.
  • Modern character education programs stress the difference between moral reasoning and moral action, encouraging young people to practise sharing, empathy, and social responsibility.