Familiarisation and Attachment (PEB) – Study of the Familiarisation Process of Children in the Nursery on the Basis of the "Berlin Familiarisation Model"

Cooperation Partner: Prof. Dr. Anette Dreier, FH Potsdam University of Applied Sciences
Research Associates: Andrea Will, Tulia Wittmann, Melanie Eckert
Financed by: Hamburg Foundation for the Advancement of Research and Culture

04/2016 to 11/2017 / Project Head: Prof. Dr. Éva Hédervári-Heller


Subject

Study of the familiarisation process of children in nurseries in their 12th to 18th months after birth on the basis of the "Berlin Familiarisation Model" (Laewen, Andres, Hédervári-Heller 2011).

Background to the study

The familiarisation process has a decisive influence on whether children in a day-care facility feel emotionally secure and develop sufficiently well both mentally and physically. When considering attachment, a basic need of children for smooth familiarisation represents a fundamental component of the process quality in children’s day-care facilities. The intention with this practical research project is to fill the gaps caused by the lack of empirical studies on the familiarisation process in relation to the day-care facility teacher-child attachment.

Methods

The research project consists of a randomised, controlled, double-blind longitudinal study. In summer 2016 prior to the familiarisation period, the test subjects in the intervention group are to receive intensive 6 x 1-day advanced training with self-awareness sessions on the subjects: Pedagogic approach, ideas about childhood/images of the child, educational methods, developmental psychology of early childhood, attachment theory/fundamental aspects, attachment in childhood and self-awareness of one’s own image and how others see you, attachment in adulthood and self-awareness of one’s own attachment history, as well as the "Berlin Familiarisation Model" and the opportunity to reflect on one’s own practice to date with familiarisation. During the familiarisation of the project children, the project child-care teachers in the intervention group receive psychodynamically oriented supervision on a regular basis (1 x per month and for 5 to 6 months in total). The control group receive the advanced training after the 2nd measurement time point without supervision.

Data surveying at two measurement time points:

T1 Data Surveying

  • Details of the facility, the group structure and the familiarisation practice (questionnaire developed by the project head, partly based on the instruments in the context of the German National Study on Early Childhood Education and Care – NUBBEK (Tietze et al 2012)
  • Sociodemographic data on the project child-care teachers and project children
  • Self-efficacy expectation of the specialist child-care teaching staff: "General Self-efficacy Expectation" (SWE), Schwarz & Jerusalem 1999
  • Temperament of the project children assessed by parents: "Toddlers Temperament Scale" (TTS), Fullerd et al. 1984
  • Problem behaviour of the project children assessed by parents: „Child Behaviour Checklist“ (C-BCL 1 ½-5), Achenbach & Recorla 2000
  • Behaviour of child-care teachers in the group: „Caregiver Interaction Scale“(CIS), Arnett 1989

T2 Data Surveying (5 to 6 months after the first data surveying)

  • Sociodemographic data on the project child-care teachers and project children and quality of the teacher-child attachment: Strange Situation Test (FST), Ainsworth et al. 1978
  • Self-efficacy expectation of the specialist child-care teaching staff (SWE) 2.
  • Temperament of the project children assessed by parents: „Toddlers Temperament Scale“ (TTS), Fullerd et al. 1984
  • Problem behaviour of the project children assessed by parents: „Child Behaviour Checklist“ (C-BCL 1 ½-5), Achenbach & Recorla 2000

Aim of the study

The aim is to assess whether preparation of the specialist child-care teaching staff for the familiarisation process on the basis of the "Berlin Familiarisation Model" in the context of an advanced training course extending over several days with self-awareness about one’s own attachment experience leads:
(a) more frequently to organised (secure and insecure) attachment quality, and
(b) to less problem behaviour in the children.

The advanced-training content on the subject of "attachment and familiarisation" developed and tested in this project should provide a contribution whereby the introduction as demanded of familiarisation processes with the participation of the parents, focusing on the exact observation of the child behaviour during the familiarisation, are determined for generally valid standard criteria for a high-quality children’s day-care facility. The intention is to summarise the findings in the form of a brochure to be used in practice as an application-oriented supplement to the "Berlin Familiarisation Model".

The focus here is less on the model itself, but rather on its implementation regardless of the conditions in the respective facility. The intention is for the material compiled and developed in this project to be offered in specialist child-care teacher schools and in higher-education institutions with study courses on childhood pedagogy. The filmed documentation of two to three familiarisation processes at two day-care facilities is intended to be used for demonstration purposes.