Attachment states of mind and couple relationships in couples seeking to adopt

Cecilia Serena Pace, Alessandra Santona, Giulio Cesare Zavattini, Simona Di Folco

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We present the results of a study carried out in Italy with 39 Italian couples seeking to adopt, aged between 35 and 45 years, and 39 matched non-adoptive couples which compared their attachment states of mind with respect to caregivers and partners and quality of couple relationship. Both partners of the couples completed individually measures of attachment to caregiver (Adult Attachment Interview; AAI), attachment to partner (Current Relationship Interview; CRI and Experiences in Close Relationships Scale-Revised; ECR-R) and marital quality (Dyadic Adjustment Scale; DAS). The results showed that couples seeking to adopt did not differ from the control group with respect to attachment to caregivers (AAI). However potential adoptive fathers were more likely to show secure attachment classifications with respect to partner (CRI) than non-adoptive fathers. Finally, couples seeking to adopt expressed higher levels of positive feelings and thoughts within the couple relationship (ECR-R) and better perceived quality of marital relationship (DAS) than the control group. Overall, these findings suggested that couples seeking to adopt placed a high value on attachment relationships, which is considered a relevant factor for positive outcome of adoption.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3318
Number of pages3330
JournalJournal of Child and Family Studies
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2015


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