Greenfield, P. M.; Keller, H.; Fuligni, A. & Maynard, A. (2003). Cultural pathways through universal development. Annual Review of Psychology, 54, 461–90. doi: 10.1146/annurev.psych.54.101601.145221 (p. 469).
For example, attachment security, as assessed in the strange situation procedure (Ainsworth et al. 1978), evaluates the infant’s behavior after separations from the mother in a laboratory environment. Attachment is measured by how well the baby adjusts to separation—his or her ability to enthusiastically reconnect with the mother after she has temporarily abandoned her child to a strange room and/or to an unfamiliar person, as well as the quick return to exploratory play. However, mothers in different cultures do not treat the baby’s desire for proximity in the same way, nor do they take separations as routine (Harwood et al. 1996). Moreover, “strangers” in the United States are less strange and more familiar to babies than they would be in Highland Guatemala, Japan, or other parts of the world (Morelli et al. 1992; Takahashi 1990). Thus, the protocol of the strange situation cannot adequately measure the attachment bond in cultures where the attachment motive is fulfilled by ongoing closeness with no tolerance for separation (Takahashi 1990).