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Bonds Between Mother And Daughter

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Bonds Between Mother and Daughter

Even before birth a mother and child share a special bond. This bond is like no other, for it is miracle to have a baby growing inside your body. The feelings that emerge with this miracle are too strong for words. After birth, the bond develops into a greater emotional and physical bond. The child will spend much of his or her time learning in the first years of life with the mother, who is usually the primary caregiver. Much of what the children learn from their mother will effect their whole life. Through the processes of social learning and modeling the child will learn his or her values, social roles, social identity and gender identity from their mother. Gender identity development is related to the emotional relationships that develop between children and their mothers (Chodorow).

On global rating scales mothers indicated higher levels of warmth toward their infants if the infant was a girl (Sear, Maccoby, Levin). If this is truly the case, mothers are nurturing closer relationships and a greater sense of continuity with their daughters than with sons. Research by Benenson, Morash, and Petrakos (1998) provides evidence that girls are more emotionally involved with their mothers than boys. Over time, women maintain their connectedness with their mothers, whereas men's maternal attachment decreases. (Calloni and Handal). Boy and Girls form different emotional relationships with their primary caregiver based on their gender ( Chodorow).

Surry (1985) found that the self is organized and developed within the contest of significant relationships. For women, these significant relationships seem to be with their mothers. Perhaps this is caused by the social role of women and men. Males and

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females act differently to the opposite sex because of the roles they are bound to by

society. The stereotypes that are associated with maleness and femaleness in one's culture is learned through a process called sex typing. Women talk about their feelings

to one another and emotionally bond with other females. On the other hand, males are supposed to be strong and fearless, with no show of emotion or getting too personal with other males. Although we are very gradually moving away from the traditional gender stereotypes there is still much room for improvement.

A mother's attitudes are significant predictors of the attitudes of their daughters (Acock and Bengston, 1978; Arditti, Godwin, and Scanzoni, 1991; Dalton 1980; Jennings and Niemi, 1982; Smith, 1983). Rollins and White (1982) conducted a study using three different intact family environments: a) traditional (in which the mother had not worked outside the home since the birth of her daughter), b) dual-work environment (in which mothers were employed in jobs that require no formal training during the past five years), and c) dual-career environment ( in which mothers were employed in high status, nontraditional jobs during the past five years. They found that mothers' and daughters' attitudes on marriage, children and career remain significantly related over time. If the attitudes of the daughter changed, so did the attitudes of the mother. Rollins and White's (1982) findings lend further support for the concept of mothers as primary socializing agents for daughters and for the self-in-relation model regarding mothers and daughters.

Arditti and colleagues (1991) found that even when daughters grow up, their gender role attitudes still appear to be significantly similar to those of their mothers. Children use the social comparison process to view the attitudes, behaviors, and values

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their parents hold. The child will then conform to their parents' values and actions to be

accepted by them as well as model actions and values for approval. During adolescence, however, this is quite the opposite for most teens. Most teens will do anything and

everything possible to be unlike their parents. During adulthood, parents' values, morals and so on will once again be used to help guide the young adult throughout life.

Although there are many biological influences that play important roles in our lives there is still the environmental factors which play a part. Our environment contributes to how we will interact with one another, our believes and attitudes, and much more.

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