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Preschoolers' secure base script representations predict teachers' ratings of social competence and externalizing behavior.

Authors
  • Fernandes, Marilia1
  • Verissimo, Manuela1
  • Santos, António J1
  • Fernandes, Carla1
  • Antunes, Marta1
  • Vaughn, Brian E2
  • 1 a William James Center for Research , ISPA-Instituto Universitário , Lisbon , Portugal. , (Portugal)
  • 2 b Auburn University , Auburn , USA.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Attachment & human development
Publication Date
Jun 01, 2019
Volume
21
Issue
3
Pages
265–274
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1080/14616734.2019.1575549
PMID: 30724655
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Recent meta-analyses have reported significant effects of attachment quality on social competence, mostly using observational assessments of attachment behavior to assess security. We analyze the associations between attachment security - assessed as a secure base script, and social competence with peers - measured by teachers' ratings on two self-report instruments, in a Portuguese sample of 82 preschool children (34 boys and 48 girls). We also tested the association between children's secure base script scores and teacher ratings for externalizing and internalizing symptomatology. Results show significant sex differences. Girls had higher scores on secure base script and were rated by teachers as more socially competent, while boys received higher ratings for aggressive/externalizing behaviors. Nonetheless, when the effect of child sex was controlled, attachment representations were positively associated with child social competence and negatively associated with ratings of externalizing behaviors.

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