The study by Jina, Jacobvitzb, Hazenb, & Jungc (2012) looked at maternal sensitivity and secure infant attachment in Korea to understand whether it is universal or culture-specific. They did a comparison of secure infant- caregiver attachment between mothers from Korea and the United States of America. Jina, Jacobvitzb, Hazenb & Jungc (2012) found that there was no real difference in the secure attachment with the Korean mothers and their infants supporting the idea that secure attachment is universal.
Korean mothers were more likely to approach their infants right away and sit beside them when they became upset (Jina, Jacobvitzb, Hazenb, & Jungc, 2012). “Korean mothers view their children as extensions of themselves and expect their children to vicariously fulfill their unaccomplished dreams and goals” (Jina, Jacobvitzb, Hazenb, & Jungc, 2012, p. 35). Jina, Jacobvitzb, Hazenb, & Jungc (2012) describe Korean myths that mothers have special healing powers; if the mother touches their baby’s upset stomach then the baby will feel better. The Baltimore sample in the study found that mothers were more likely to separate from their babies and encouraged them to explore their environment unlike the Korean babies (Jina, Jacobvitzb, Hazenb, & Jungc, 2012). When the babies from the USA became distressed, they were the ones who seek proximity compared to the Korean infants; it was the mothers who maintained proximity with their infants (Jina, Jacobvitzb, Hazenb, & Jungc, 2012).
Jina, M. K., Jacobvitzb, D., Hazenb, N., & Jungc, S. H. (2012). Maternal sensitivity and infant attachment security in Korea: Cross-cultural validation of the strange situation. Attachment & Human Development, 14(1), 33-44.