Essay Example on Mother daughter relationship

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Mother daughter relationship Mothers play an important role in the development of children as the primary caregiver and most nurturing parent insert citation The mother daughter connection is found to be the most influential in communication and future behavior of daughters because they look to their mothers for social cues insert citation An example of this was discovered in a study demonstrating mothers preoccupation with their weight influencing the likelihood that their daughter would also become preoccupied with her weight and self image Francis and Birch 2005 This reflection of behavior is notable in that it illustrates the unconscious influence mothers have on their daughters cognitive and social development It is important to recognize this interaction to improve the way daughters develop and mothers raise their children Understanding the interaction between mother daughter relationships during influential time periods would allow for a better understanding of the factors that influence quality relationships with parents and other loved ones




There are many theories that attempt to grasp mother daughter relationships and the factors that encompass them In attachment theory relationships are commonly evaluated to search for an explanation as to why attachment declines overtime Attachment theory can be explained as a profound emotional connection between an infant and caregiver that is based on the quality of interactive experiences with the caregiver Bowlby 1969 Attachment styles to the mothers found to be predicting the quality of future relationships by Bowlby 1988 and Fischer 1991 observed that interdependence and emotional connection were higher in mother and daughter relationship than any other dyads Therefore the nature of the mother and daughter relationship carries a determining role in the life of the daughters socially and mentally It is considered that while these adolescents are creating new meaningful relationships they no longer rely on their parents for relational fulfillment which helps to explain the decline in attachment over time Ruhl 2015 This same study has shown as criticism increases anxiety with mothers increases as well indicating mother behavior affects daughter experiences Another theory attempting to explain mother daughter relationships include the individuation theory Individuation is described as a complex dyadic process extending into adulthood




A constant degree of connectedness combined with an increase in individuality from childhood to adulthood is assumed Buhl 2008 This theory includes a preliminary model referring to emotional cognitive and behavioral individuality as well as emotional cognitive and behavioral connectedness In the study there was no significant effect of children's gender on emotional connectedness but in cognitive connectedness mothers reported to be more connected with daughters than with sons Mother daughter relationships are more likely to develop along a trajectory of reciprocal responsiveness than the mother son relationship because mothers are predisposed to create more intimate relations with daughters Chodorow 1978 Gilligan 1996 An increase in individuality and a decrease in connectedness in children led mothers to report less affection presently from their children than when they were younger indicating a decline in attachment found in similar research Mothers also reported less power in their relationships with their children likely because of this inevitable regression Buhl 2008 This phenomenon is also attempted to be explained by investment theory From an evolutionary perspective mothers primarily nurtured children and devoted the most time to their children It would reflect the data that children reported more love towards their mothers because mothers invested and nurtured them more than fathers Mother son relationship Little is known about the role of gender in the parent offspring relationship or in the links between parent adolescent relationship qualities 




Most research investigates mother daughter relationships encompassing these factors It is important to recognize the mother son connection as well to fully grasp the parent child developmental link Despite conflicting evidence that cross sex dyads experience the greatest relational strains the mother son bond appears stronger than the father son tie with young adult sons disclosing more to their mothers than to their fathers Barnett Marshall Pleck 1992 Theorists suggest that whereas early gendered socialization emphasizes relational connectedness for girls boys are encouraged from an early age to obtain independence from their parents Thus parents especially fathers might value shifts to greater independence more highly in their sons than in their daughters Concordant with the gendered socialization perspective young adult sons have consistently reported higher levels of functional emotional and attitudinal independence from their parents than have daughters Kenny Donaldson 1992 Lapsley Rice Shadid 1989 Lopez Campbell Watkins 1986 1989 thus suggesting potential gender differences in what might constitute continuities in parent child relationships Although the school age children in our samples already had considerable peer experience other scholars have also proposed that the mother child relationship plays a role in orienting girls to display care and concern in relationships and orienting boys to cooperate with but not necessarily reciprocate concern in their interactions with females Brody 1999 Robinson Little Biringen 1993 It was noted that the relationship between women and their sons is intense and passionate and that of necessity there must be differences between mother daughter and mother son relationships insert citation




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