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Apgar Test and the “Strange Situation Paradigm” Report

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Updated: Jan 26th, 2022

Apgar Test

The process of giving birth is called labor and consists of three stages. The first stage lasts approximately twelve-fourteen hours and appears in gradually increasing contractions while the cervix dilates. During the second stage, the contractions become longer, stronger, and more frequent. The woman in labor is regularly pushing for delivering a baby. The baby moves down through the birth channel and soon appears outside the vagina. That second stage lasts approximately one hour. During the third stage, which is the shortest, the placenta separates from the womb and the umbilical can be finally cut off.

In the movie, Lidia is giving birth to a healthy baby boy after nine hours of labor. The doctor checks Carter immediately according to the Apgar test, which is called after its inventor Virginia Apgar (Slee, Campbell, & Spears, 2012, p. 130). This test is used to control an overall physical condition of a baby. The doctor verifies the appearance, pulse, grimace, activity, and respiration (Shaffer & Kipp, 2014 p. 116) in one minute after birth and repeats the test again in five minutes. In an Apgar rating system, the score range varies from zero to two. If there is no or little appearance of the physical condition, it gets zero points. The maximum of two points gets an excellent condition appearance. To get the final score, all points are added together.

Carter gets eight scores because the color of his extremities is blue; however, his body color is pink. Also, his muscle tone activity is rated one. The heartbeat, reflex irritability, and respiration get the highest scores. The range of points from eight to ten means excellent physical condition. A score from four to seven indicates some problem. The baby with a final score of less than four requires immediate medical assistance.

The Apgar test is crucial because it allows transiting babies to fledged life. Although, if the baby’s rate is below four, resuscitative measures must be provided immediately to save the infant’s life (American Pregnancy Association, 2014, para. 5). Five minutes test measures the improvements and response on the medical manipulations if they were engaged.

“Strange Situation Paradigm”

Attachment theory was firstly developed in the 1950s when Mary Ainsworth went to Africa to study the connection between a baby and its caregiver. Later, Ainsworth conducted a laboratory experiment called the “Strange situation” (Green, 2003, p. 85). While observing the infant’s reaction to the loss of a parent, she distinguished three main concepts of attachment: secure attachment, avoidant and resistant attachments (Papalia, Feldman, & Martorell, 2014, p. 172). Infants with secure attachment stay calm in stressful conditions. Though, crying sometimes when their parent leaves, they quickly calm down when they return. Babies with avoidant attachment do not pay attention to their caregiver’s presents, ignoring their leaving and returning. Infants with resistant attachment are usually tensed in an unknown environment. While leaving these babies they become very upset and stay distressed long after the parent return (Benson & Haith, 2009).

In the video with Lisbet and Lisa, essential stages can be observed. During the first phase, Lisa is playing with her fourteen months baby Lisbet in an unknown but friendly environment. Lisbet shows no stress or irritation. She stays calm and displays curiosity when a stranger enters the room. However, when a woman tries to interact with Lisbet, the girl ignores her attempts. Then Lisa leaves the room, and Lisbet starts crying. The stranger tries to comfort Lisbet, but vainly. Lisa returns and Lisbet calms down instantly. The experiment repeats again. Lisa is leaving the room, but this time there is no stranger in the room. The stranger comes inside, but her attempt to comfort Lisbet fails again. The second reunion with her mother repeats the first.

The researcher identified Lisbet’s attachment as secure. Indeed, she shows all features: comfort in her mother’s company and distress when Lisa leaves. Just after reunion with her caregiver, the baby calms down and continue playing.


American Pregnancy Association. (2014). APGAR test – american pregnancy association. Web.

Benson, J., & Haith, M. (2009). Social and emotional development in infancy and early childhood. Amsterdam: Academic.

Green, V. (2003). Emotional development in psychoanalysis, attachment theory, and neuroscience: Creating connections. Hove, East Sussex: Brunner-Routledge.

Papalia, D., Feldman, R., & Martorell, G. (2014). Experience human development (13th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill Education.

Shaffer, D., & Kipp, K. (2014). Developmental psychology: Childhood and adolescence (9th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Slee, P., Campbell, M., & Spears, B. (2012). Child, adolescent, and family development (3nd ed.). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

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