Attachment to mother and father at transition to middle childhood

Simona Di Folco, Serena Messina, Giulio Cesare Zavattini, Elia Psouni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The present study investigated concordance between representations of attachment to mother and attachment to father, and convergence between two narrative-based methods addressing these representations in middle childhood: the Manchester Child Attachment Story Task (MCAST) and the Secure Base Script Test (SBST). One hundred and twenty 6-year-old children were assessed by separate administrations of the MCAST for mother and father, respectively, and results showed concordance of representations of attachment to mother and attachment to father at age 6.5 years. 75 children were additionally tested about 12 months later, with the SBST, which assesses scripted knowledge of secure base (and safe haven), not differentiating between mother and father attachment relationships. Concerning attachment to father, dichotomous classifications (MCAST) and a continuous dimension capturing scripted secure base knowledge (MCAST) converged with secure base scriptedness (SBST), yet we could not show the same pattern of convergence concerning attachment to mother. Results suggest some convergence between the two narrative methods of assessment of secure base script but also highlight complications when using the MCAST for measuring attachment to father in middle childhood.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)721-733
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Child and Family Studies
Volume26
Issue number3
Early online date14 Nov 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Keywords

  • middle childhood
  • secure base script
  • attachment to father
  • attachment to mother
  • generalized attachment representations

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