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Parenting, Attachment Theory And Moral Development

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This research paper explores about socioemotional processes and theories of developmental psychology. Parenting styles, Theory of attachment, Kohlberg’s moral development and their strengths and weaknesses literature reviews and how the theories can be applicable to real life situations.


Socioemotional process consists of variations that occurs in an individual’s personality, emotions, and relationships with others during one’s lifetime (Santrock, 2007). Developmental psychology was initially targeted on studying how adolescents strengthen to develop into youngsters and then adults, but contemporary developmental psychology examines the whole lifespan of human beings, from delivery to historic age. Developmental psychologists learn about the development of a variety of competencies and characteristics, consisting of cognitive abilities, motor skills, language gaining knowledge of and communication, the nature of personality, and the way in which we increase our identities, relate to our emotions, and conceptualize ourselves. Due to the huge range of developmental psychology studies, there are a number of theories and stages that have been developed in this field. (McSorley, 2014).


Parenting patterns straightforwardly impact a kid's social advancement both physically or mentally (Aunola and Nurmi, 2005). Child rearing methodologies and kid habits works multi-directionally (Baumrind, 1967). The thinking of parenting patterns was once first delivered in 1960’s with the aid of capacity of the psychologist Diana Baumrind. She carried out a search for on pre-school age kids, utilizing father or mother interview, observations to discover out about precise dimensions of parenting and proposed three parenting styles: authoritarian, authoritative and permissive. Later researchers delivered a fourth fashion of uninvolved parenting. (Baumrind, 1991)

The authoritarian parenting style is described as a black and white style of parenting, the place rules are expected to be observed besides question or there will be consequences. These mother and father tend to be strict and demanding, whilst no longer treating their young people as equals. They do no longer appear very responsive to their children. The Tiger Mom is a right example of a father or mother exhibiting this parenting style. (Driscoll, 2013)

The authoritative parenting fashion additionally is one with guidelines that have to be followed, however the dad and mom have a tendency to be greater open about their reasoning and think about their children’s opinions extra so than authoritarian parents. Authoritative dad and mom have a tendency to speak about troubles with their youth in a supportive manner rather of truly inflicting punishment.

Permissive parents tend to act extra responsively and demand much less from their children; in flip they do now not generally discipline their children as regularly. They are also communicative and nurturing. The Panda Dad is a precise instance of this parenting style. (Driscoll, 2013)

An uninvolved parenting style is a result of inattentiveness in the child’s upbringing as a parent. Parents give no strive to be function models for teens and no required amount of physical or psychological aid is available (Downey & Coyne, 1990). Children of this kind result in selfish behaviors (Nijhof & Engels, 2007). This type was once supported later via Maccoby and Martin (1983).

Sharma and Pandey (2015) organized a find out about on Indian adolescence. The study aimed to look into if their levels of shallowness are affected through the parenting patterns used by both parents. More especially if authoritative and permissive parenting is accountable for greater vanity in adolescences (Sharma & Pandey, 2015).

The research consisted of 120 participants with an equal large range of guys and females. They have been examined the use of 2 distinct standardized questionnaires which have been based on each parent. The effects have been received via general deviations, correlation, with propose values and graphical representations. (Sharma & Pandey, 2015).

(Sharma & Pandey, 2015) Conclusions protected terrible correlations between authoritarian mother and father and wonderful correlations between permissive and authoritative parents and self-esteem. And supported the hypothesis of Sharma and Pandey (2015).

Using the suitable parenting patterns will have an effect on the advisable growth of improvement throughout lifestyles (Ballantine, 2001). The approach should alter if not they then to internalize and behave aggressively (Akhter et al. provide all the first time, 2011). Most of the research (Baumrind, 1960, 1970) blanketed ethnically various samples from each western and non-western county making the findings greater generalizable and relevant (Mandara & Murray, 2000).

The weakness includes the principle no longer been capable to generalize due to cultural variations or acculturation (Berry, Trimble, & Olmedo, 1986). Such as when Chinese dad and mom migrate to the UK (Chua, 2011) elements such as societal, family members and cultural differences may also have consequences on the parenting style and may additionally differ relying on the scenario (Bornstein & Cote, 2001). The children’s behavior such as aggressiveness can also affect the parenting where dad and mom may also have less manipulated over the youngsters (kochanska, 1997).


The theory of attachment is an idea in developmental psychology that concerns the importance of 'attachment' with regards to personal development. According to British Clinician John Bowlby’s (1969, 1988) etiological perspective, all residing beings even at their infant levels have a greater tendency to form mutual bonds mother and father or caregivers as a result of gene flow (Lorenz, 1937).

The research study called “Strange situation” conducted by Ainsworth (1971,1978) evaluates 4 different attachment styles. Namely, secure, insecure-avoidant, insecure-ambivalent and insecure-disorganized attachment styles. (Ainsworth,1971,1978)

A secure attachment bond ensures that a child will feel secure, understood, and calm. Children with invulnerable attachments are seeking alleviation from their mother and father when they're scared. They have a tendency to be social folks who have trusting, lasting relationships, and accurate self-esteem.

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In avoidant attachment child do not are seeking for help from dad and mom when assembly with physical or emotional desires (Behrens, Hesse, & Main, 2007). This situation consists of parents who much less possibly to respond to the child’s desires (Ainsworth, 1970).

Children are adhesive and reliant in ambivalent attachment. Shows high degrees of misery when indifferent from mother and father and is hard to reassure afterward (Ainsworth, 1970).

Insecure disorganized attachment is when the caregiver is now not cooperative or responsive the young people are less emotionally engaged (Ainsworth,1970). Children showcase aggressive movements with the belief that mother, and father would pay attention to them. This form of attachment was later supported through Main & Solomon (1990).

Harlow (1958) wanted to investigate the relationship formation between child monkeys and mothers. He isolated 60 child monkeys from its parent within 6 to 12 hours of birth.

(Harlow, 1958) They were saved on wired meshes had been animals located it tough to live on and clothed meshes with resulted in healthier development. As a result, they ever exposed to a mom which was once made of black packing containers and every other made of terry cloth, single breast, and mild attached at the again which produced warmness (Harlow, 1958).

(Harlow, 1958) Results found that the clothed mom was once proven greater attachment these monkeys grew up to be greater bullied by using others and had issue to survive by myself if they were left for greater than 90 days with these mothers. Therefore, it concluded that at some point of the critical degrees of a child maternal deprivation ought to lead to emotional distresses (Harlow, 1958).

(Prior & Glaser, 2006) Infants do are searching for their guardians in real-life situations of distress or when confronted with danger. Another power consists of though most of the studies on attachment solely used mothers as mother and father lookup has proven that attachment is now not only precise to moms but additionally and caregiver invalid in the child’s upbringing (Rutter (1972). Symptoms such as distress are nevertheless exhibited when the infant is separated from the caregiver concluding that the theories are generalizable to any gender.

In considering the strengths of this theory monotropy and hierarchy is highlighted. There is one attachment which has distinct importance over the hierarchy of many different attachments. Schaffer and Emerson found that babies form many attachments e.g. mother, father, sister, brother, grandparents, buddies etc. however, infant’s main attachment is closer to the mom or father. Secondly care givers sensitivity is also a positive effect of attachments. Schaffer and Emerson located that infants who have been strongly attached had moms who would quickly reply to them and gave them extra interplay whereas babies who has made a weak attachment had mothers who had failed to interact with them. Carlson (1998) observed that insensitive care giving is related with troubles in adulthood Harlow’s find out about discovered a one-way attachment with the wire mom with no response of affection. The babies became maladjusted adults.

The weaknesses are according to behaviorists attachments are learned behaviors. Emotional coaching can be used to educate young children on how handle situations with friends by taking into account several perspectives such as why they might have acted harshly might be because he or she might have got scolded by their parents for not completing the homework the day before or how they could improve their relationship by speaking out each other’s thoughts which will improve the attachment with the friend and also the teacher . (Hardy, 2016) Social workers can help clients with repressed abusive childhood attachments to recognize them and overcome their difficulties to live a peaceful life with the use of positive behaviors.


Lawrence Kohlberg concurred with Piaget's hypothesis of precise development on an imperative degree but wanted to build up his thoughts further. Kohlberg unusual three levels and six levels of desirable development while leading his experience. (Kohlberg, 1983)

Preconventional Level: What is terrible is decided by way of inside standards involving physical or hedonistic penalties of the action. Stage 1: Punishment Orientation, were punishments must be inflicted on terrible behavior regardless of any reasoning because it is unacceptable. Stage 2: Individualism and Exchange, the consequences of the movements are based totally on the need for the individual to (Kohlberg, 1984)

Conventional Level: Individual develops loyalty to a group. Morality is now based on exterior standards (particularly keeping the group’s social order). Stage 3: Good Interpersonal Relationships, exact conduct is frequently elicited due to demand characteristics and social desirability. Stage 4: Maintaining the Social Order consists of behaving according to the law and order due to the fact it is the right factor to do (Kohlberg, 1984).

Post-conventional Level: Morality is based totally on internalized abstract ideas of justice and individual rights. Stage 5: Social Contract and Individual Rights, right here regardless of the law and its standards the individual’s rights and opinions are given more priority. Stage 6: Universal Principles encompass thinking about many perspectives such as binding to the law, what is morally right and what they think about the state of affairs they find themselves in (Kohlberg, 1984). conduct such behavior (Kohlberg, 1984).

The aim of the find out about was to see if there used to be evidence to help his idea of moral development. The individuals had been aged 10-16 years historic at the start of the learn about and were aged 22-28 with the aid of the end. Some participants had no longer reached the final stage of moral development by means of the stop of the study. At around 50% of every of the six stages, a participant's wondering used to be at a single stage, regardless of the moral dilemma involved. Stages have been continually handed via stage by using stage and in the constant order and the members in no way went lower back to a previous stage. Kohlberg also discovered when young people are confronted with the views of a baby one stage in addition along, they appeared to pick this subsequent stage and to move forward. Middle-class urban boys aged 10 in the USA, Taiwan and Mexico showed the order of each stage to be the identical as the order of its concern or maturity. At the age of 16, Stage 5 thinking was once extra commonplace in the USA than either Mexico or Taiwan this stage was reached by means of participants in these two nations at a later age. Moral improvement is invariant, individuals go through the tiers one at a time and they are in a constant order, however some Individuals can also not attain the ultimate stage. Strengths of ethical improvement include it being universal as all humans use moral reasoning to prove that their point of view is correct and valid. Everyone goes through these degrees of ethical development (Kohlberg, 1984). Lesser the moral development youngsters judge them based totally their intentions than on its consequences. It is due to the on hand cognitive reasoning so with age moral reasoning develops (Helwing & Lau, 1996).

(Rest, 1979) Moral improvement does now not appear according to the levels noted above but rather backward and not all of us goes thru all degrees also. Weaknesses additionally consist that what was once measured was once moral reasoning, no longer behaviour. In a unique scenario which would be special from what kind of choice will be taken by way of the infant in a real-life situation so results may have been affected via ecological validity, demand characteristics and social desirability (Gilligan, 1977).


In conclusion parenting styles, attachment theory, and moral development are key elements that all caregivers must be aware of. How teens are treated for the duration of their infancy and the essential durations may have an effect on their adulthood and also how they engage with other human beings in the future. Therefore, it is safe for everyone to be aware of such perspectives and apply in their lives specifically for parents, caregivers, and instructors when coping with children and young children.

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