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Attachment to Mother and Father at Transition to Middle Childhood

Authors
  • Di Folco, Simona1
  • Messina, Serena2
  • Zavattini, Giulio Cesare1
  • Psouni, Elia3
  • 1 University of Rome, Department of Dynamic and Clinical Psychology, Sapienza, Italy , Sapienza (Italy)
  • 2 University of Texas at Austin, Department of Educational Psychology, Austin, TX, USA , Austin (United States)
  • 3 Lund University, Department of Psychology, Lund, Sweden , Lund (Sweden)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of Child and Family Studies
Publisher
Springer US
Publication Date
Nov 14, 2016
Volume
26
Issue
3
Pages
721–733
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s10826-016-0602-7
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
License
Green

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.

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