Thank you for the very pertinent introduction.
Dr. Friedman's research report that we heard during the morning session clearly presented to us the important finding that the unique characteristics of the family, particularly maternal nurturing and maternal sensitivity are the basis for the child's attachment to the mother, the child's language, perceptions, social development and also their readiness for school. The finding that stable attachment between mother and child is the foundational basis for the development of the child's competence goes beyond the cultural and is universal. Different cultures stress different parent-child relationships and different goals for child rearing. However, parent-child relationships, in other words, stable attachment between mother and child is the basis on which the development of the child's competence rests. It is part of the functional preparation system for the child's development and is something all cultures hold in common.
To consider the quality of this maternal upbringing and care giving, I would like to examine case studies of the growth of children suffering from maternal deprivation, in extremely different environments from kindergarten and nursery school. Based on this case study, I would like to look at the quality of childcare and propose what we should be creating for child rearing in the 21st century.
Recently, heinous crimes by 17 year olds have become a problem. The first point these youths hold in common is that the father is not present. The flip side of this is a very close relationship between mother and child. The second point in common is that all of these youth had above average grades in school. Perhaps they tried their hardest to meet their mother's expectations until their pre-adolescent years. It is possible to get a glimpse of this surt of youth. The third point in common is a sort of social isolation, if you will. This is the characteristic of very little self-esteem and sympathy for others.
I feel that having low self-esteem and sympathy reflects that the emotive ties between mother and child did not go well directly after birth. Bowlby, J. (1967; 1978; 1987) says that a pattern of strong bonding based on attachment between a mother and child builds an internal working model. This is internalized and becomes a functional preparation system for social interaction with family, father, friends and child care workers.
We should point out changes in culture and society as well. The home video game first invaded children's lives around 1988. It changed the quality of communication greatly: the borders between reality and fantasy became unclear. It had a major effect of how these children relate to other people. In 1993, the standard deviation as a measure for categorizing students for the entrance exams of advanced education was discouraged. Instead of using the deviation, another viewpoint for ability used beyond the middle school level emphasizes school reports that indicate academic ability as well as learning attitude in school. This led to a situation in which there had to be division between the face a child shows to their teacher or to their classmates, the face they show to their mother and the face displayed in their own individual lives.
I feel, however, that the most important thing is the indication that in actuality, this problem is a result of generational transmission over 2 generations of parents and children. In particular, we need to ask what is the relationship and interaction between mother and child during infancy (0-years-old). I would like to look at the first stages of child rearing at infancy as well as at maternal nurturing.
In an environment of so-called maternal deprivation, where the psychological exchange between mother and child in the year after birth is not going well and the mother is not sensitive or responsive, the infant is not merely deprived of psychological exchange. It is accompanied by compound deprivation in the social, cultural, linguistic and nutritional aspects.
For example, there are a variety of adverse effects when a child is deprived of stimulation. Figure 1 and 2 show the branching of dendrites of neurons in rats' visual cortex. In environments where there was little stimulation as opposed to a great deal of stimulation, the branching is quite sparse. Although these are the results in rats, the same findings can be seen in humans. It was recently reported that children with a high level of stress who have been abused show a 12% shrinkage of the hippocampus, which controls the "episodic memory," the area in the hypothalamus that stores the understanding and recollection of information.
Amongst these highly stressful cases where the child was deprived of maternal nurturing, there are six cases in the world for which there are relatively long follow up studies (Table 1).
After children who were shut up in a dark closet or in a pile of trash in an underground room were released, they immediately took to the nurse in the facility in which they were placed. The cases of (1) Izabell and (2) P.M. & J.M. are examples of this and their recovery was very good. However children in cases (3)Anna and (4) Anne and Arbert, after being released, did not, or could not take well to the nurse and the recovery did not go well. Eventually the children died. Case (5), Genie, is very well known. Upon the child's release from a shed at the age of 13 years and 7 months, which is beyond "the critical period" of language acquisition, the child was able to recover to a certain extent and return to society due to the efforts of the educational treatment team. However, as you would expect, since the critical language learning stage had passed, the child had deficiencies in grammatical development. F and G, Case (6), was a case in which we undertook remedial education, by our follow-up research project headed up by Ochanomizu University Emeritus Professor, Mr. Fujinaga. I would like to address this case now.
This family was one with many children. The mother had 9 children, including 2 with her former husband (Figure 3). The father was utterly unable to hold down a steady job and the family received social welfare. At this time, the father stopped accepting the welfare and the family's finances quickly deteriorated. Because toilet training for two children (G & H) was not going well, they were put into a small shack enclosed with tin fencing. H has died, but when F was six years old and G was five years old, they were rescued through a tip from the neighborhood. Directly after their rescue, they were both 82 cm tall and weighed 8.5 kg. This is the body size of about a one-and-a half-year old. Although they were able to make babbling sounds, they were not able to speak and were not able to walk. Two months after their rescue, they were finally able to stand but would then fall down with a thud.
Figure 4 shows the development velocity curve for the growth in height of both F (Figure 4-a) and G (Figure 4-b). Notice how after being put into an infant home, they suddenly caught up to normal developmental levels in a short period of time due to the kind care they received and the rapport and attachment that formed between them and their nurse. It was as if they had come out of hibernation.
Five years after their rescue, both children had almost completely caught up to normal levels of physical growth. However, in the area of linguistic development, the older sister F tended to be better than younger brother G. The difference in forming attachments is also noticeable. The older sister immediately formed an attachment to the nurse in the infant home when she was placed there. The younger brother, however, has not formed with his charge nurse who looked after him. Looking at the history of the younger brother after this, there was no linguistic, cognitive or social growth. He was completely unable to remember the names of the children with whom he lived in the infant home.
We used the some procedure as same as the "Strange Situation Procedure" by Ainsworth, M.D.S. (1978) that Dr. Friedman referred to in her lecture this morning and measured whether or not attachment had formed between the child and nurse. We found that older sister panicked when the nurse with whom she was playing left and the child would follow after the nurse. This was not at all true for the younger brother. He was nonchalant about whether or not another person or even his nurse was around. This concerned us and we asked the head of the infant home to change his nurse, thinking that the nurse might not have good rapport with the child. Likes and dislikes are natural in associations between humans: it is true even with between real parents and children. We felt there was a problem with this child not bonding and so we changed nurses to the same nurse looking after the older sister F. This expert nurse that was the replacement was well matched with the younger brother. As soon as an attachment was formed between the younger brother and the nurse, from that point on there was sustained rapid linguistic and cognitive recovery.
What was the reason for the difference in the speed of recovery between the older sister and the younger brother? We can partly attribute this to innate constraints.
The first innate constraint lies in the sex-difference of the speed of maturity of the brain. Geschwind and Galaburda of Harvard University published data in their thesis in Nature (1987) that shows that a girl's left side of the brain is slightly more mature than both the left and right side of a boy's brain. Why is a girl's brain more mature? A boy begins to secrete testosterone once the testes start to form about two months after conception. It is believed that the male hormone suppresses the secretion of the growth hormone. As a result, the maturity schedule is slowed down overall, almost as if brakes were being applied. This is the source of sex-differences.
The second innate constraint is the sex-difference in vulnerability. Rutter (1979) says that boys are more easily hurt.
The third innate constraint is the difference in temperament, that is "sensitivity to person stimulation and/or object systems." From the first, the older sister showed a greater sensitivity to people. She had the skill of perceiving a person's feeling before acquisition of language skills. She was categorized as an "expressive child," as defined by Nelson, C. (1983). In his daily activities, the younger brother had a great deal of interest in objects. He was categorized as a "referential child." The difference in the temperament of these two affected how they formed attachment to their nurses.
I would also like to point out the difference in their environmental factors. The family finances were more strained when the younger brother was born, as compared to when the sister was born. Because the father had halted social welfare payments, there was absolutely no income. The mother completely lost her will to nurture her younger children. She did not remember even hugging the younger brother. We can speculate that this difference in the relationship with the mother during infancy holds the key to the difference in speed with which attachment was formed to the nurse after they were rescued.
What is suggested by this case? We can intimate that at the beginning stages of development when there is a rapport between an infant and an adult, this becomes a foundation for a common bond with a nurse in a facility. In other words, when an attachment has been fully formed to an adult, this becomes a functional preparation system for external speech communication. Adjustments in relationships with other people also become readiness for development.
So how does the difference in the quality of attachment demonstrate itself in a child's development? I would like to discuss the results of observing children in three different environments in nursery schools and in the home.
We chose three environments. The first was infant-care facilities with a non-specified (multiple)-caregiver-system (X)*1. There were 8 babies under one year of age per caregiver. The second was a specified-caregiver-system environment (Y). These were facilities with a one caregiver to three infant ratio, which follows the basic Ministry of Health and Welfare standards for infant care. Both of these are facilities in which infants without parents are placed on a long-term basis. The third environment was care given at the home as a control group (Z). The quality of care in these environments was measured using the H.O.M.E. Measurement (" Home Observation of Measurement of the Environment" by Cawdwell, 1978) that was also used by Dr. Friedman (Figure 5).
The H.O.M.E. Measurement measures the emotional and verbal responsivity of mother, the avoidance of restriction and punishment, the organization of physical and temporal environment, provision appropriate play materials, maternal involvement with the child and opportunities for variety in daily routine. X scored the lowest scores of H.O.M.E., i.e., the least desirable of these three environments. Y and Z were on the same level and equally suitable child care environments.
The time sampling method was used to observe the interaction between mother and child and caregiver and child over an 18-month period, once a month, once per 15 seconds for five hours each time. Looking at children in terms of when they uttered their first words, children whose mothers spoke to them a lot over their first 3 - 4 months uttered their first words earlier. The order of environment was Z2, Y2, Y2 and then Y1 (Figure 6). The frequency with which the caregiver spoke to the child was greatest in environment Z, followed by Y, then by X (Figure 7). The infants' baby talk and babbling activity (Figure 8) was greatest in environment Z, followed by Y, then X. The frequency was greater in the specified care system than in the non-specified (multiple) caregiver system, and even greater still in the family than in the specified care system.
The speed of development of an infant's speech is one of the most closely watched aspects of a child's growth. There was no difference at all between environments Y and Z. This means that there was no difference in the speed of language development if the child was cared for in a facility or at home (Figure 9). Although this is not included in the figure, the speed of development of intelligence as measured in the MCC Baby Test showed that environment Y was the most remarkable. In short, "facility" children that are care for in a facility by a caregiver with specialized training showed the most remarkable speed of development. What I find fascinating is the difference in environments when we look at the frequency of expression through gestures (Figure 10). Children in environments X and Z made few gestures, but those in environment Y, made many gestures.
For example, when an infant saw a caregiver in environment Y the child often raised a hand made a sound calling the caregiver "Cha-chan," which is a prototypical baby talk to call one's mother. This was less often seen in environments X and Z. There is a different reason for fewer gestures in Environments X and Z. In X, there is absolutely no response to any gesture made by the infants that is intended to appeal to the caregiver and this is why the children make fewer gestures. So what about environment Z? Since the mother is looking after the child round the clock and responds immediately if the child makes a sound, there is no need for gestures. However, in Environment Y, there is moderate response to the child so the child feels that movement can be used as a method of communication. Hence these children often use gestures as a means of communication. Furthermore, they are cared for in a large room, where they compete with other infants for the caregiver's attention and this gives rise to the many gestures which are often accompanied with vocalization.
What does this suggest? First, the attachment to the caregiver is the basis of communication. Second, it is not necessarily required that the biological mother be the caregiver. And third, the quality of care is the critical factor of development.
What I would like to suggest here today is that it behooves us to revitalize the care giving function in the community, including the family. To do this, we must first of all recover maternity within the family. A stable foundation that ensures attachment must be created and the mother's sensitivity must be heightened. This will lead to the child's self-esteem and more sympathy for others. This kind of communication with the feeling of being accepted and, in early infant age, cultivate the child's self-esteem and sympathy for others.
Next, we must restore paternity. This was covered in Ms. Takaki's report. The major role of fatherhood is cutting the bonds between mother and child. The father's love and respect for, as well as trust of the mother and the daily demonstration of this serve as a model for relationships with other people. The father can cut the abnormal intensity of bonds between mother and child. The father must discipline the child for misconduct and wrongdoing and teach how to discern right from wrong until pre-adolescence. If a child does something wrong, the father should not repress the behavior through authority. He should give the guidance in the form of, "Daddy does't think so." or "I judge that is not right, because......" or
gSo I conclude this judgement is right.hand so on,
as an example of constructive relationships between people. Through interaction with the child, it is important for him to show that violence is wrong.
Japan must return to the community child rearing functions of its past. The communal concept of society working together to raise future generations and nurture culture, requires teamwork between parents and caregivers which enroll with the community cooperation. The spirit of bringing up children together must be fostered. This cannot come from the mother. I look to the caregivers in schools and kindergarten teachers to say, "Mothers, let's raise your children together. If you are having trouble, we are here to help you." It is also necessary for society to prepare caregiving support systems in a variety of areas.