Grazyna Kohanska's Moral Development

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Question 1. What is MRO and what two components does it encompass? How is MRO related to moral development and conscience?
MRO was designed to describe the interaction between a parent and a child that results in mutual positive feelings and experiences. These feelings and experiences comprise the two main facets of this model which can ultimately shape a child’s moral development.
Mutually Responsive Orientation, or MRO, refers to a relationship developed between an infant and a primary caregiver proposed by Grazyna Kohanska. It was designed from the perspective of placing a greater emphasis on the dyad including infant and mother and how their interactions shape development. Kohanska describes the basic principle of MRO as “a positive, close, mutually binding, and cooperative relationship (1997). Like the relationship it is meant to describe, it too is a
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Kohanska refers to this as shared positive affect. According to Kohanska, it is comprised of “pleasurable, smoothly flowing interactions infused with positive emotions experienced by both” (1997). For instance, for a child who spends a great deal of time with his mother in the kitchen, both he (and his mother) would view these shared experiences fondly according to Kohanska’s model and this mutual fondness would help to shape their relationship in conjunction with their respective responsiveness. Kohanska believes children who grow up within these mutually responsive orientation dyads are more likely to adopt their parent’s own values, thus helping to instill a conscience in the child. The process by which this occurs, Kohanska states, is the child’s willingness to respond positively to the influence by the parental figure. This leads the child to freely adopt the parent’s value and behavioral standards which ultimately translate to the child’s conscience, and how he himself will respond in moments of conflict or difficult moral