Attachment representations in mothers, fathers, adolescents, and clinical groups: a meta-analytic search for normative data.

Center for Child and Family Studies, Leiden University, The Netherlands.
Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology (Impact Factor: 4.85). 03/1996; 64(1):8-21. DOI: 10.1037//0022-006X.64.1.8
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT This meta-analysis on 33 studies, including more than 2,000 Adult Attachment Interview (AAI) classifications, presents distributions of AAI classifications in samples of nonclinical fathers and mothers, in adolescents, in samples from different cultures, and in clinical groups. Fathers, adolescents, and participants from different countries show about the same distribution of AAI classifications as nonclinical mothers do. The distribution of nonclinical mothers is as follows: 24% dismissing, 58% autonomous, and 18% preoccupied mothers. About 19% of the nonclinical mothers are unresolved with respect to loss or trauma of other kinds. Mothers from low socioeconomic status show more often dismissing attachment representations and unresolved loss or trauma. Autonomous women and autonomous men are more often married to each other than can be expected by chance, and the same goes for unresolved men and women. Clinical participants show highly deviating distributions of AAI classifications, with a strong overrepresentation of insecure attachment representations, but systematic relations between clinical diagnosis and type of insecurity are absent.

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