The Relationship between the Development of a Peer Social System and Attachment

  • Ruth L. Wynn

Abstract

The opportunity for the very young child to establish social relationships with other children has not been considered an advantage or at least as beneficial as experiences with the mother. This attitude is evident in the current practice of home rearing within the nuclear family, which has heightened the importance of mother-child attachment while providing few opportunities for frequent peer contact. Group day care differs from home rearing in the nuclear family as a situation of daily separation from the mother and participation in a play group. Day care has not received unqualified acceptance for infants and toddlers because it has been thought that daily separation from the mother may be cause for some deviation in the “normal” mother-child attachment relationship (Bowlby, 1969, 1973; Ainsworth, 1963, 1973). This qualified acceptance has resulted in evaluations of the day care experience that have focused primarily on the effect of the child’s attachment relationship with the mother without reference to other social relationships (Blehar, 1974; Brookhart & Hock, 1976; Caldwell, Wright, Honig & Tannenbaum, 1970; Doyle, 1975; Maccoby & Feldman, 1972; Ricciuti, 1974). It appears that, by focusing so narrowly on the mother-child relationship and separation experiences, we may be ignoring a positive aspect of the day care experience, namely, the importance of peer relations for infants and toddlers.

Keywords

Attenuation Covariance Rosen Doyle 

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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ruth L. Wynn
    • 1
  1. 1.Syracuse UniversityUSA

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