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Social Class and Sex Differences in the Attachment and Play Behavior of the Year-Old Infant NICHD

Lewis, Michael; Messer, Stanley B.
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Report Number:
ETS Research Bulletin
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Subject/Key Words:
National Institute for Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), National Institute of Mental Health, Rutgers University Research Council, Attachment Behavior, Caucasians, Infants, Parent Child Relationship, Play, Sex Differences, Socioeconomic Influences, Verbal Ability


In the present study approximately 15 boy and 15 girl infants, Caucasian and from a lower socioeconomic background, were seen in a free play situation exactly replicating the Goldberg and Lewis (1969) study. Social class and sex differences were explored in attachment behavior to mother and play behavior. Social class differences in vocalization were observed which suggested that the linguistic deficiency usually reported for the lower class is visible by one year of age. Sex differences in attachment behavior were again observed and indicated that across different social classes one-year-old girls show more attachment behavior than boys.

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