THE PHENOMENA OF ATTACHMENT: THEORIES, PERSPECTIVES AND VIEWS

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EMOTIONS AND FEELINGS

Psychologists identify emotions as the essential “building blocks” of well-being. Therefore, if one can trace the process associated with emotional development from infancy through to adolescence, contributors and measurements for wellbeing can be identified and appropriate support can be provided to assist the developing individual to grow emotionally. Operational definitions span biological, physiological, cognitive, motivational, and behavioural dimensions. Despite a multitude of operational definitions, most emotional researchers agree that emotions consist of several components within the domains of physiological responses, subjective experience and observable behaviours interacting in complex ways (Halle 2003:126).

EMOTIONAL CHARACTER AND EMOTIONAL PERSONALITY

Every person experiences many kinds of feelings from the moment of birth. Every day the feelings experienced comprise of drive-feelings, affects and emotions. The continual exposure to the environment repeatedly creates opportunity for the individual to feel, think and act and forms a patterned behaviour which one can refer to as a habit. The personality feelings, once formed, make it probable that under certain conditions and circumstances; the person feels the same and acts or responds accordingly. Heller (2009:94) stated that both emotional character and 54 emotional personality are feeling habits. If individuals react with identical or similar feelings to similar circumstances, situations or events, those individuals become accustomed to these reaction types. Similarly, if the type of feeling reaction in general has assumed rigid, generalised typical forms put differently, if prediction makes sense with regard to the emotional behaviour, then individuals are dealing with a character or personality feelings.

Locus of control

Adolescents, who feel they may be effective and have some sense of power or control over their environment, may be able to plan, hope and set personal goals. Personality traits that determine whether people attribute responsibility for their own failure or success or to internal or external factors are referred to as locus of control (Slavin 2012:301). Donald et al (2010:161) explained that the locus of control is experienced by people who feel the source of control in their lives as being either relatively internal or external. Tony (2003:455) indicated that the locus of control is a construct measuring the degree to which one feels in control over one’s life events. Locus of control is a cognitive style or personality trait that is characterised by a generalised expectancy about a relationship of reinforcement in the form of rewards or punishment (Oxford Dictionary of Psychology 2003). In the context of this study, external locus of control is understood to be the general belief that a person holds, that their life is not under their control but rather under the control of external factors.

Self-concept and self-esteem

Self–concept answers the question of how one describes him/ or herself. The belief one has about himself or how he is perceived by others determines his selfconcept. The beliefs, attitudes, knowledge, and ideas people have about themselves are referred to as the self-concept (Meece and Daniels 2008:356). This self-knowledge is organised in a way that it defines behaviour of a particular individual. The evaluation of the self can lead to either positive or negative characteristics in a person. Roets (2002:19-23) postulates that a person’s selfconcept is shaped by the type of thinking patterns that he adheres to, the role of 70 the intra-psychic dialogue contributes to either a positive or negative self-concept. How an adolescent boy views his relationship with a father either unattached or attached might shape his perception and feelings of self-worth. The self-concept of the adolescent is influenced by his/her identity development. Gouws et al (2008:100) indicated that the self-concept affects various areas of the adolescent’s life.

Substance Abuse

Family factors are influential towards the genesis of adolescent drug and alcohol abuse problems. Poor relationships with parents and inadequate child rearing practices are closely linked to adolescent drug abuse (Johnson 2000:2). Fathers play an important role in the behaviour of adolescents as they are usually seen as the authority figure. During the years of development, an adolescent boy closely interacts with his father; he develops habitual patterns of behaviour which are repeated several times and become imprinted in his life. The repetitive sequences of behaviour provide an adolescent boy with a foundation for his own form and style of behaviour. The father’s influence can be compared to an “invisible force”. This “invisible force” influences and sometimes even governs the reactions and behaviour of an adolescent and steers him forward on his life path. “Invisible forces” include spoken and unspoken expectations and words, rules for managing conflict; these forces explicitly or implicitly reflect structures and responsibility of assigned roles, and imprint norms and values on the developing individual (Johnson 2000: 3).

Informed consent

Informed consent implies that all possible or adequate information about the goal of the study as well as what the respondents’ or the participants’ participation entails, as well as the credibility of the researcher be rendered to potential subjects (de Vos, Strydom, Fouche’ and Delport 2011:117). In this study permission was obtained from the Department of Basic Education to complete research at schools in the Tshwane districts as per Appendix 4. A requisition letter was sent to principal of schools to conduct research at the identified schools as per Appendix 3. Permission was obtained via consent letters to parents (Appendix 2), which were provided to all the participants used in the study. As they were between the ages of fifteen and seventeen and still legally considered minors, parental consent had to be acquired. The letter was explained to the participants as well as the parents in order to confirm that they were free to participate or withdraw from the study.

Deception

Deception refers to misleading participants in such a way that had they if they had been aware of the nature of the study; they may have declined to participate in it (Struwig and Stead 2010:69). Another aspect of deception is reflected by Corey, Corey and Callan (1993:230) who states that deception involves withholding information or offering incorrect information in order to ensure the participation of subjects when they would otherwise have refused it. Neuman (2000) explained that deception occurs when the researcher intentionally misleads subjects by way of written or verbal instructions of other people, or certain aspects of the setting.

TABLE OF CONTENTS :

  • Abstract
  • Declaration
  • Acknowledgements
  • List of tables
  • List of figures
    • CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTORY ORIENTATION, STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM AIMS AND CLARIFICATION OF CONCEPTS
    • 1.1 INTRODUCTION
    • 1.2 AWARENESS OF THE PROBLEM
    • 1.3 ANALYSIS OF THE PROBLEM
    • 1.4 PROBLEM STATEMENT
    • 1.5 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
    • 1.6 AIMS OF THE RESEARCH
      • 1.6.1 Literature overview
    • 1.7 CLARIFICATION OF CONCEPTS
      • 1.7.1 The concept of a father and an absent father
      • 1.7.2 The parameters of the adolescent phase of development
      • 1.7.3 The concept of attachment
      • 1.7.4 Identity formation of the adolescent
      • 1.7.5 Behavioural functioning of the adolescent
      • 1.7.6 Emotional functioning of the adolescent
      • 1.7.7 The concept of culture
    • 1.8 RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY
      • 1.8.1 Research paradigm
      • 1.8.2 Research methodology
      • 1.8.3 Sampling
      • 1.8.4 Data collection
      • 1.8.5 Data analysis
      • 1.8.6 Ethical considerations
    • 1.9 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
    • 1.10 STRUCTURE OF THE RESEARCH PROGRAMME: CHAPTERS
    • 1.11 CONCLUSION
  • CHAPTER 2 THE PHENOMENA OF ATTACHMENT: THEORIES, PERSPECTIVES AND VIEWS
    • 2.1 INTRODUCTION
    • 2.2 INITIAL ATTACHMENT BEHAVIOUR
      • 2.2.1 Patterns of attachment
      • 2.2.2 Persistence and stability of patterns
    • 2.3 ATTACHMENT IN MIDDLE CHILDHOOD
    • 2.4 ATTACHMENT IN ADOLESCENCE
    • 2.5 DYNAMICS OF ATTACHMENT
      • 2.5.1 Working models: Interaction styles and normative attachment process
      • 2.5.2 The role of attachment in personality development
    • 2.6 CHANGES OF BEHAVIOUR DURING THE LIFE CYCLE OF CHILDREN
      • 2.6.1 Growth and attachment
      • 2.6.2 Comparing attachment theory and development theories
      • 2.6.3 Sigmund Freud: A psycho-analytic theory of personality
      • 2.6.4 Erik Erikson: A psychosocial theory of personality
      • 2.6.5 An interactional analysis of Erik Erikson’s psychosocial theory of personalityand Bowlby’s attachment theory
    • 2.7 CONCLUSION
  • CHAPTER 3 EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT OF THE ADOLESCENT: BEHAVIOURAL REACTIONS RELATING TO EMOTIONAL FUNCTIONING
    • 3.1 INTRODUCTION
    • 3.2 EMOTIONS AND FEELINGS
    • 3.3 LEARNING TO FEEL
    • 3.4 EMOTIONAL CHARACTER AND EMOTIONAL PERSONALITY
    • 3.5 ADOLESCENT EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT
    • 3.6 HOW EMOTIONS ARE RELATED TO POSITIVE DEVELOPMENT
    • 3.7 EMOTIONAL ELEMENTS OF ADOLESCENT WELL-BEING
      • 3.7.1 Coping
      • 3.7.2 Trust, attachment and relatedness
      • 3.7.3 Autonomy
    • 3.8 CONCLUSION
  • CHAPTER 4 THE BEHAVIOURAL REACTIONS OF AN ADOLESCENT WITH RESPECT TO HIS EMOTIONAL FUNCTIONING
    • 4.1 INTRODUCTION
    • 4.2 EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT
      • 4.2.1 Resilience
      • 4.2.2 Identity
      • 4.2.3 Locus of control
      • 4.2.4 Self-concept and self-esteem
    • 4.3 EMOTIONAL AND BEHAVIOURAL PROBLEMS
      • 4.3.1 Anxiety
      • 4.3.2 Depression
      • 4.3.3 Substance Abuse
      • 4.3.4 Scholastic performance
        • 4.3.4.1 Underachievement
        • 4.3.4.2 Motivation
  • 4.4 CONCLUSION
  • CHAPTER 5 RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY
  • CHAPTER 6 FINDINGS AND DISCUSSION OF RESULTS
  • CHAPTER 7 CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS

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THE ROLE OF THE EMOTIONAL FATHER-SON RELATIONSHIP IN THE SELF-CONCEPT FORMATION OF ADOLESCENT BOYS IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS

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