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critique of a journal article

Howes, Hamilton, & Matheson (1994) hypothesised that good child-teacher interactions would be positively correlated with good child-peer interactions. They drew from John Bulby's attachment theory and from recent studies of teacher-child relationships. While Bulby primarily focuses upon how the parent-child relationship affects the forming of later relationships, recent studies observe the influence of the teacher-child relationship. The article's introduction discusses the inspiration for the researchers' studies; however, theoretical explanations for their work are vague. The researchers make loose associations between Bulby's work and recent studies in attachment. Attachment theory seems irrelevant to what the researchers expect to find in the study.
Research Methods and Design and their Limitations
Graduate students, who did not know the study's hypothesis, met with 48 children over three years. Each graduate student observed a child every six months but never saw the same child twice.
Research Methods and their Limitations
This study used a naturalistic observation method, where the graduate students would simply watch their subjects' behaviour. Naturalistic observation is limited in that the researcher has little control over a situation. However, the method allows a child to behave in a way in which they usually conduct themselves; therefore, it is appropriate for this experiment.
The study also used an experimental method by using the Attachment Q-Set, where they observed the teacher-child relationship by initiating a strange situation. These strange situations proved useful, in that graduate students could observe teacher-child attachment. Its limitation, however, is that the strange situation is, as it implies, strange. Researchers create a single environment, and one that children are not likely to experience outside the lab setting. Using naturalistic observation for this aspect of…

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