Attachment representations in mothers, fathers, adolescents, and clinical groups: a meta-analytic search for normative data.
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.
SourceAvailable from: Silvia Salcuni[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The role of defensive exclusion (Deactivation and Segregated Systems) in the development of early relationships and related to subsequent manifestations of symptoms of eating disorders was assessed using the Adult Attachment Projective Picture System (AAP). Fifty-one DSM-IV diagnosed women with anorexia participated in the study. Anorexic patients were primarily classified as dismissing or unresolved. Quantitative and qualitative analyses of defensive exclusion were carried out. Results showed potential benefits of using the AAP defense exclusion coding system, in addition to the main attachment classifications, in order to better understand the developmental issues involved in anorexia. Discussion concerned the processes, such as pathological mourning, that may underlie the associations between dismissing and unresolved attachment and anorexia. Implications for developmental research and clinical nosology are discussed.Frontiers in Psychology 10/2014; 5. DOI:10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01218 · 2.80 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Attachment theory regards experiences with caregivers as the affective ground for the development of early images of self, possibly embedded in scripted secure-base knowledge as a rudimentary representation of early caregiver-child attachment relationships. However, the possible link between implicit representations of secure base availability - and the image of self in these representations - and explicit evaluations of self, is still unclear. The present study assessed whether implicit knowledge of secure-base interactions with caregivers is related to self-reported self-esteem in early middle childhood (N = 97 second-grade children). Results revealed that children with rich knowledge of secure base interactions perceived themselves not only as more accepted and appreciated by their peers and mothers but also as more cognitively competent, beyond actual differences in cognitive competence. Yet, given the limited strength of this link, the role of contextual factors beyond attachment ought to be considered in the assessment of self-perception in early middle childhood. © 2015 Scandinavian Psychological Associations and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.Scandinavian Journal of Psychology 03/2015; DOI:10.1111/sjop.12208 · 1.29 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: A predominant expectation that social relationships with others are safe (a secure attachment-style), has been linked with reduced threat-related amygdala activation. Experimental priming of mental representations of attachment security can modulate neural responding, but the effects of attachment-security priming on threat-related amygdala activation remains untested. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), the present study examined the effects of trait and primed attachment security on amygdala reactivity to threatening stimuli in an emotional faces and a linguistic dot-probe task in forty-two healthy participants. Trait attachment anxiety and attachment avoidance were positively correlated with amygdala activation to threatening faces in the control group, but not in the attachment primed group. Furthermore, participants who received attachment-security priming showed attenuated amygdala activation in both the emotional faces and dot-probe tasks. The current findings demonstrate that variation in state and trait attachment security modulates amygdala reactivity to threat. These findings support the potential use of attachment security-boosting methods as interventions and suggest a neural mechanism for the protective effect of social bonds in anxiety disorders.Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience 10/2014; DOI:10.1093/scan/nsu127 · 5.88 Impact Factor