Document Detail

Attachment security in infancy and early adulthood: a twenty-year longitudinal study.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  10953934     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Sixty White middle-class infants were seen in the Ainsworth Strange Situation at 12 months of age; 50 of these participants (21 males, 29 females) were recontacted 20 years later and interviewed by using the Berkeley Adult Attachment Interview (AAI). The interviewers were blind to the participants' Strange Situation classifications. Overall, 72% of the infants received the same secure versus insecure attachment classification in early adulthood, K = .44, p < .001. As predicted by attachment theory, negative life events-defined as (1) loss of a parent, (2) parental divorce, (3) life-threatening illness of parent or child (e.g., diabetes, cancer, heart attack), (4) parental psychiatric disorder, and (5) physical or sexual abuse by a family member-were an important factor in change. Forty-four percent (8 of 18) of the infants whose mothers reported negative life events changed attachment classifications from infancy to early adulthood. Only 22% (7 of 32) of the infants whose mothers reported no such events changed classification, p < .05. These results support Bowlby's hypothesis that individual differences in attachment security can be stable across significant portions of the lifespan and yet remain open to revision in light of experience. The task now is to use a variety of research designs, measurement strategies, and study intervals to clarify the mechanisms underlying stability and change.
E Waters; S Merrick; D Treboux; J Crowell; L Albersheim
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Child development     Volume:  71     ISSN:  0009-3920     ISO Abbreviation:  Child Dev     Publication Date:    2000 May-Jun
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2000-12-27     Completed Date:  2000-12-27     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0372725     Medline TA:  Child Dev     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  684-9     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Psychology, State University of New York at Stony Brook, 11794-2500, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Follow-Up Studies
Interpersonal Relations*
Interview, Psychological
Life Change Events
Object Attachment*

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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