"The Strange Situation is a laboratory procedure for examining one-year-olds' reactions to separation from their attachment figures, usually their mothers." (pg. 386 in textbook)
The process: (pg. 386)
"First researchers place the infant in an unfamiliar room with his or her mother. The room is loaded with all kinds of interesting toys, and the mother gives the infant the chance to play with them. Then a stranger enters. On two different occasions, the mother exits the room, leaving the infant alone with the stranger before reuniting with her infant. The Strange Situation takes advantage of infants' stranger anxiety, which as we've learned tends to peak at about one year."
There are four different categories in which infants' behaviors fall into.
-The first category is called secure attachment. This is where the infant becomes upset when the mother leaves, but once she returns the infant greets her with joy.
-The second category is called insecure-avoidance attachment. This is where the infant reacts with indifference when the mother leaves and shows little reaction once she returns.
-The third category is called insecure-anxious attachment. This is where the infant panics when the mother leaves the room and reacts with mixed emotions when she returns.
-The last category is called disorganized attachment. This is where the infant reacts with confusion and once the mother returns, the infant appears to be dazed.
Those of us who have babysat before know how this goes. Some of the kids you babysit may be the rare, perfect ones who don't show much of a reaction to their mother's departure. On the other hand, some kids are kicking and screaming and uncontrollable! We all know those ones can be extremely difficult to handle. Let us be thankful that most of the children cry themselves to sleep and get to wake up in the morning in the comfort of their mother's arms.