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Schwartz, E. (1971). Infancy in Uganda: Infant Care and The Growth of Love. Mary D. Salter Ainsworth, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1967. 496 pp.. Psychoanal. Rev., 58(1):158-159.
(1971). Psychoanalytic Review, 58(1):158-159
Infancy in Uganda: Infant Care and The Growth of Love. Mary D. Salter Ainsworth, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1967. 496 pp.
Review by: Edith Schwartz
Mary D. Salter Ainsworth, psychologist with Johns Hopkins University, through the East Africa Institute of Social Research in Kampala, Uganda, has made a study of the first fifteen months of life in Uganda.
The author is primarily interested in the question of attachment, and she is particularly concerned with problems of the criteria and measurement of attachment behavior. She describes sixteen patterns of attachment behavior and under each she provides specific items taken from child observation. One of these items— embracing, hugging and kissing— was never once observed on the part of Ganda infants.
Dr. Ainsworth divides the development of attachment behavior into time sequences and developmental sequences. The phases of the latter are: 1) undiscriminating, 2) differential responsiveness, 3) differential responsiveness at a distance, 4) active initiative, 5) stranger anxiety.
Three variables were found to be significantly related to the development of attachment: the mother's attitude toward breast feeding, her accuracy in recall of developmental history, the amount of care given by the mother to her child. These are seen by the author as rough approximations of more significant and subtle variables, such as the mother's sensitivity to the signals of her baby, the appropriateness of her responses, the question of whether the timing of the responses is related to the needs of the baby or the mother, and the amount and pleasure of the interaction between mother and infant.
Dr. Ainsworth also provides valuable observations on the early separation of Ganda children from the mother and its correspondence to later social behavior among adults, and she also deals with problems of comparative developmental rates of African and European babies. Her style is clear, her approach reflective and self-critical.
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