Culture-specific attachment strategies in the Cameroonian Nso: Cultural solutions to a universal developmental task

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Titel: Culture-specific attachment strategies in the Cameroonian Nso: Cultural solutions to a universal developmental task
Autor(en): Otto, Hiltrud
Erstgutachter: Prof. Dr. Heidi Keller
Zweitgutachter: Prof. Dr. Beate Schücking
Zusammenfassung: Early mother-infant interactions are influenced by the eco-cultural context within which they take place and impact the infant´s development of socio-emotional competences. The genetically open programs of the attachment system enable a child within the limits of the system to adapt to varying eco-cultural contexts. This study focuses on the cultural aspects of attachment among the Cameroonian Nso, a prototypical interdependent cultural group very distinct from Western cultures. 32 Nso families with one-year old infants were visited twice by a German / Cameroonian female stranger respectively, who greeted family, mother and child and interacted with the child for five minutes. The visiting scenes were videotaped and the child s reactions were coded with respect to emotional reaction, closeness with mother, signs of avoidance or approach towards the stranger. Additionally, the mothers were interviewed on attachment topics. Results for the greeting scenes show three distinct reaction patterns, independent of whether the stranger was a German or Cameroonian woman. Children reacted predominantly fearful, curious or unemotional. Results are discussed by drawing on information gathered through the interviews which suggest that calm, non-distressed children are highly valued in the Nso ethnicity and that mothers deliberately use frightening behavior as a means of education. From a western point of view, maternal frightening behavior is considered to be responsible for the development of disorganization; The results suggest that within the cultural context of the Nso, however, typical reactions traditionally associated with disorganization like freezing and impassiveness need to be (re-)interpreted according to the eco-cultural context.
Schlagworte: attachment; infancy; cross-cultural research; cultural psychology; ethological attachment theory
Erscheinungsdatum: 29-Apr-2009
Publikationstyp: Dissertation oder Habilitation [doctoralThesis]
Enthalten in den Sammlungen:FB08 - E-Dissertationen

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