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6: Social and Emotional Development in Infancy and Toddlerhood

  • Page ID
    105483
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    Learning Objectives

    After this chapter, you should be able to:

    1. Classify types of temperament.
    2. Discuss the roles of culture and gender in socialization.
    3. Describe the sequence of emotional development during the first two years.
    4. Compare different theories of attachment and attachment styles.
    5. Explain Erikson’s stage of trust versus mistrust.
    6. Contrast child care options for families.

    While temperament is determined by genetics and emotions develop through maturation, the early interactions we have with the adults that care for us as infants and toddlers are very important for healthy emotional development. Let’s examine some of the important interactions and milestones in social and emotional development during the first two years of life.

    • 6.1: Temperament
      You may have noticed that some infants seemed to be in a better mood than others and that some were more sensitive to noise or more easily distracted than others. These differences may be attributed to temperament. Temperament is the innate characteristics of the infant, including mood, activity level, and emotional reactivity, noticeable soon after birth.
    • 6.2: Personality
      Temperament does not change dramatically as we grow up, but we may learn how to work around and manage our temperamental qualities. Temperament may be one of the things about us that stays the same throughout development. In contrast, personality, defined as an individual’s consistent pattern of feeling, thinking, and behaving, is the result of the continuous interplay between biological disposition and experience.
    • 6.3: Infant Emotions
      At birth, infants exhibit two emotional responses: attraction and withdrawal. They show attraction to pleasant situations that bring comfort, stimulation, and pleasure, and they withdraw from unpleasant stimulation such as bitter flavors or physical discomfort. At around two months, infants exhibit social engagement in the form of social smiling as they respond with smiles to those who engage their positive attention (Lavelli & Fogel, 2005).
    • 6.4: Social Emotional Milestones
      As infants and toddlers interact with other people, their social and emotional skills develop. Here is a table of social and emotional milestones that they typically experience during the first two years.
    • 6.5: Forming Attachments
      Attachment is the close bond with a caregiver from which the infant derives a sense of security. The formation of attachments in infancy has been the subject of considerable research as attachments have been viewed as foundations for future relationships. Additionally, attachments form the basis for confidence and curiosity as toddlers, and as important influences on self-concept.
    • 6.6: Child Care
      Child care involves supervising a child or children, usually from infancy to age thirteen, and typically refers to work done by somebody outside the child's immediate family. Child care is a broad topic covering a wide spectrum of contexts, activities, social and cultural conventions, and institutions. The majority of child care institutions that are available require that child care providers have extensive training in first aid and are CPR certified.
    • 6.S: Summary

    Thumbnail: www.pexels.com/photo/baby-touching-woman-s-face-1257110/


    6: Social and Emotional Development in Infancy and Toddlerhood is shared under a CC BY license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Paris, Ricardo, Raymond, & Johnson.

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