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Messinger1 What security of attachment predicts. Messinger2 Review n Most infants are attached but only 2/3 of infants are typically securely attached.

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Presentation on theme: "Messinger1 What security of attachment predicts. Messinger2 Review n Most infants are attached but only 2/3 of infants are typically securely attached."— Presentation transcript:

1 Messinger1 What security of attachment predicts

2 Messinger2 Review n Most infants are attached but only 2/3 of infants are typically securely attached. n There is strong but limited experimental evidence and extensive evidence from meta- analyses that caregiver sensitivity predicts secure attachment n What does secure attachment predict?

3 Messinger3 What does secure attachment predict? n Describe the stability (or instability) of attachment security as in infancy? n What evidence supports the idea that attachment security predicts the timing of puberty in girls? n What does insecure and disorganized attachment predict in childhood? n Describe and explain correspondences between parental and infant security of attachment. n EC. Describe the effects of double insecurity. 10 points. The figure was correct.

4 Messinger4 The Big Question n How do early experiences of attachment relationships impact later relationships? n Through behavioral and then internal representations of what can be expected from relationships

5 Messinger5 Internal Working Models n Mental representations of the availability of the attachment figure and what to do when the attachment system is activated Mental rules for organizing, accessing, and limiting access to information relevant to attachment. n Impact individual differences in strange situation behavior and, hence, infant attachment classification.

6 What infant expects: 6 Evidence for Infants’ Internal Working Models of Attachment Susan C. Johnson, Carol S. Dweck, and Frances S. Chen

7 Messinger7 The Big Question n How do early experiences of attachment relationships impact later relationships? – Early infancy to later infancy – Infancy to childhood – Infancy to adulthood – Infancy to parenthood

8 Messinger8 Impact of early experiences Stability n Attachment classification should be stable – If you’re secure, you should remain secure Or n Transition should be linked to life-events – Negative events: Secure -> Insecure – Positive events: Insecure -> Secure

9 9 Strange Situation classification shows only moderate stability n Similar to Seifer et al., MLS findings n And similar to Belsky, Campbell, Cohn, & Moore, 1996 findings NICHD, 2001, Dev. Psy

10 Messinger10 Stability of infant classification? n 75% stability in ABC from 12 to 18 months – five studies of "nonrisk" samples, N = 205 (1980s) n 46-55% (non-significant) ABC ‘stability’ from 12 to 18 months – 1 study with 3 independent samples (n = 125, n = 90, and, with fathers (n = 120) (1990s) – Bigger single sample – Coding Disorganization may influence coding Belsky et al. 1996

11 Messinger11 Large scale study stability n Modest stability for A, B, C, and D classifications from 15 to 36 months – Low maternal sensitivity from 24 to 36 months predicted shift from secure to insecure – Higher maternal sensitivity from 24 to 36 months predicted change from insecure to secure n NICHD Early Child Care Research Network n Marginal stability for A, B, C, and D classifications from 18 to 36 months – Kappa =.06; p <.05 n Maternal Lifestyle Study

12 Messinger12 Disorganized stability n Disorganized infants show reasonably stable categorization in the Strange Situation – two studies; r=.34 over a mean of 25 months n Also have higher stress reactions (salivary cortisol) than other infants Meta-analysis: Van Ijzendoorn, Schuengel, & Bakermans- Kranenburg (1999)

13 Messinger13 Disorganization n “Behavior indicative of conflict, fear, and confusion in relation to their attachment figure... Sequential or simultaneous display of contradictory behavior patterns; undirected, misdirected, incomplete, and interrupted movements and expressions; stereotypes, asymmetrical movements, mistimed movements, and anomalous postures; freezing, stilling, and slowed movements and expressions; and direct indexes of apprehension, disorganization, or disorientation.” (Belsky et al., 1996)

14 Messinger14 The Big Question n How do early experiences of attachment relationships impact later relationships? – Early infancy to later infancy – Infancy to childhood – Infancy to adulthood – Infancy to parenthood

15 Messinger15 Is security a ‘vaccination’? n Most competent 3-yr-olds have both secure attachment (at 15 mo) & (relatively) high- sensitive mothering (at 24 mo) – NICHD Study of Early Child Care n Insecurely attached children who subsequently experienced high-sensitive mothering significantly outperformed secure children who subsequently experienced low-sensitive mothering. n Belsky, J. and R. M. P. Fearon (2002). "Early attachment security, subsequent maternal sensitivity, and later child development: Does continuity in development depend upon continuity of caregiving?" Attachment & Human Development 4(3):

16 Sensitivity  beyond attachment Messinger16 Fraley, R. C., Roisman, G. I., & Haltigan, J. D. (2013). The legacy of early experiences in development: Formalizing alternative models of how early experiences are carried forward over time. Dev Psychol, 49(1),

17 n Fearon, R. M. P., M. H. Van Ijzendoorn, et al. (2006). "In search of shared and nonshared environmental factors in security of attachment: A behavior-genetic study of the association between sensitivity and attachment security." Developmental Psychology 42(6): n little evidence that genetic factors are involved in variations between twins in maternal sensitivity ratings but did find that shared variance in maternal sensitivity was able to account for some of the similarity between twins in attachment security. Weak nonshared associations between sensitivity and attachment appeared to suppress the magnitude of the correlation between attachment and sensitivity in twin children. The results could indicate that the attachment security of one twin may depend on the relationship the parent has with the other twin. Messinger17

18 Messinger18 Attachment & emotional development n In 2nd and 3rd yrs, secure children  less angry. – Higher attachment  less fear and anger at 33 mo n Insecure children's negative emotions increased: – Avoidant children  fearful – Resistant children were most fearful / least joyful, n distress even in episodes designed to elicit joy. – Disorganized/ unclassifiable children  more angry. Kochanska, G. Child Development. 2001,

19 Messinger19 Disorganized attachment predicts n Higher rates of externalizing behaviors – Assessed primarily with questionnaires – r =.29, 12 studies, n = 734 n Example: Disorganized attachment predicts hostility (18 months to five years) (Lyons-Ruth, Alpern, & Repacholi, 1993 )

20 Insecure & disorganized  risk of externalizing problems n Disorganized at elevated risk, weaker effects for avoidance & resistance n Meta-analysis, 69 samples (5,947). – overall d = 0.31 (95% CI: 0.23, 0.40) Larger effects for boys, clinical samples, observation- based outcome assessments, attachment assessments other than the Strange Situation. n Fearon, R. P., M. J. Bakermans-Kranenburg, et al. (2010). "The significance of insecure attachment and disorganization in the development of children s externalizing behavior: A meta-analytic study." Child Development 81(2): Messinger20

21 Nonsecure (avoidant)  internalizing/externalizing Messinger21 Disorganized  externalizing (Groh, Roisman, van Ijzendoorn, Bakermans- Kranenburg, & Fearon, 2012)Groh, Roisman, van Ijzendoorn, Bakermans- Kranenburg, & Fearon, 2012 Based on 42 independent samples (N = 4,614),

22 Double insecurity  Behavior problems (insecurity with dad key variable..) Messinger22

23 Messinger23 Child Dev.Child Dev Sep 24. doi: /j x. [Epub ahead of print] Early Attachment Organization With Both Parents and Future Behavior Problems: From Infancy to Middle Childhood. Kochanska GKochanska G, Kim S.Kim S Source The University of Iowa. Abstract Links between children's attachment security with mothers and fathers, assessed in Strange Situation with each parent at 15 months (N = 101), and their future behavior problems were examined. Mothers and fathers rated children's behavior problems, and children reported their own behavior problems at age 8 (N = 86). Teachers rated behavior problems at age 6½ (N = 86). Insecurity with both parents had a robust effect: "Double- insecure" children reported more overall problems, and were rated by teachers as having more externalizing problems than those secure with at least 1 parent. Security with either parent could offset such risks, and security with both conferred no additional benefits. High resistance toward both parents in Strange Situation may confer "dual risk" for future externalizing behavior.

24 Messinger24 But insecure attachment may have positive functions n The function of attachment is safety n Avoidance minimizes unfruitful attempts to elicit caregiving n Resistance maximizes attention to separation & minimizes separation n Even disorganization balances exposure to a threatening but needed caregiver n Security may not be the only way to ‘get it right.’ Crittenden (Dahra Jackson)

25 Attachment and Maturation n Evolutionary framework – Does infant attachment change maturation? – Does attachment signal challenges an infant faces? – Away from Mental Health conceptualization n Difficult environment => Earlier menarche Mattson25 Belsky, Houts, & Fearon 2010

26 Attachment-Maturation Model n Early menarche: insecure over- represented n Is insecurity a better fit to certain environments? Mattson controlled for mother’s age of menarche Belsky, Houts, & Fearon 2010

27 Attachment-Maturation Model n Early/late puberty onset – Early/late puberty completion n Predictive effects of attachment security – controlled for mother’s age of menarche. Mattson27

28 Messinger28 Attachment and Children's Peer Relations n “Small-to-moderate” association between attachment security to mother and quality of children’s peer relations – meta-analysis of 63 studies indicates n Effects “higher for studies that focused on children's close friendships rather than on relations with other peers.” – Effects larger after early childhood n “Gender & cultural differences … minimal” – A Quantitative Review (Schneider et al ’2001)

29 Messinger29 Types of social competence – A Quantitative Review (Schneider et al ’2001)

30 Messinger30 The Big Question n How do early experiences of attachment relationships impact later relationships? – Early infancy to later infancy – Infancy to childhood – Infancy to adulthood – Infancy to parenthood

31 Messinger31

32 Messinger32 Stability: Infant to adult n 2 studies report significant levels of stability between infant attachment security and adult security n 2 studies do not – But 1 did not use a traditional strange situation n In all studies, negative life events associated with transitions from infant security to adult insecurity – But negative life events (e.g. divorce, parental depression) are not the same in all studies

33 Messinger33 The Big Question n How do early experiences of attachment relationships impact later relationships? – Early infancy to later infancy – Infancy to adulthood – Infancy to childhood – Infancy to parenthood

34 Messinger34 Overview n Introduction to the Adult Attachment Interview (AAI) n Correspondence between parents’ security of attachment (from AAI) and their children’s security of attachment n Practice the Adult Attachment Interview (AAI)

35 Messinger35 A Big Question n Do parents’ representation of their own attachment experiences relate – presumably through their own parenting behaviors – to the attachment classification of their children in the next generation? To answer such questions, attachment theory has moved to the level of representation.

36 Messinger36 In adulthood n Internal working models impact attachment behavior – Mental representations of the availability of the attachment figure – What to do when the attachment system is activated n Purpose of the Adult Attachment Interview is to classify these internal working models.

37 Messinger37 Interview n 18 questions with follow-up probes, semi- structured, hour-long, transcribed verbatim – 5 adjectives describing each parent with supporting (or contradicting) memories – what occurred when upset (when the attachment system was activated) – impact of those experience on current functioning – current relationship with parents

38 Messinger38 Adult Attachment Interview

39 Messinger39 How Speakers are Categorized n As Autonomous (secure), Dismissing (avoidant), or Preoccupied (resistant) – And, independently, as Unresolved/Disorganized n Not based on experiences themselves n But on speaker’s current relationship to the experiences – how they’ve processed their past n Based on the coherence of their discourse

40 Messinger40 Discourse coherence n Adherence or violation of Grice’s maxims of coherent discourse – Quality: Have evidence for what you say. – Quantity: Be succinct but complete. – Relation: Be relevant. – Manner: Be clear and orderly. n Helps categorize speakers as autonomous, dismissing, or preoccupied – Disorganized categorized in 3 main categories

41 Messinger41 Specifics of the Hypothesized Link n Autonomous parents are sensitively responsive and promote security n Dismissive parents avoid acknowledging attachment needs of infants – who respond by minimizing attachment needs and becoming avoidant n Preoccupied parents do not respond to infant attachment needs predictably – Who respond by chronic attempts to achieve security

42 Messinger42 Correspondence Adult state of mind Infant SS behavior n Autonomous – Coherent narrative n Dismissing – Generalized normalizing without specific examples n Preoccupied – Long, entangled narratives n Unresolved – Lapses in reasoning n Secure - – Soothed by parent n Avoidant – Does not make contact with parent or express attachment needs n Resistant – Not comforted by parent n Disorganized – No coherent strategy

43 Messinger43 Autonomous (secure) n “Presentation and evaluation of attachment- related experiences is coherent and consistent and their responses are clear, relevant, and reasonably succinct” whether or not experiences themselves were positive or negative. (van IJzendoorn, 1995, p. 388)

44 Messinger44 Dismissing (Avoidant) n Minimize attachment-related experiences – Avoid activating attachment system n Describe parents with positive adjectives that are unsupported or contradicted by memories that are recounted – Violating the quality maxim

45 Messinger45 Preoccupied (Resistant) n Preoccupied by attachment figures and attachment-related experiences. – Attachment system chronically activated n Transcripts tend to be lengthy and unfocussed – Violating the quantity maxim

46 Messinger46 Unresolved - Disorganized Link n Unresolved parents are frightened or frightening in dealing with attachment issues. n Infants often respond to a parent who is threatening rather than comforting with disorganized attachment behavior – No clear strategy.

47 Messinger47 Validity of AAI n Classifications are stable – 2 months, 3 months, 1.5 years n Not related to IQ measures – 6 of 7 studies n Discourse style relates to attachment – not interviews about job

48 Messinger48 Parent-Infant Attachment Correspondence n Meta-analysis of 13 studies using three major categories n 75% secure vs. insecure agreement (K=.49) n 70% three-way agreement (K=.46) – Prebirth AAI show 69% three-way agreement (K=.44) Bakermans-kranenburg, M. J. & Vanijzendoorn, M. H. (1993). A Psychometric Study of the Adult Attachment Interview - Reliability and Discriminant Validity. Developmental Psychology, 29,

49 3-way classification (18 studies) Hypothesis 1 AAI accounted for 22% of variation in children’s attachment.

50 4-way classification (9 studies) Hypothesis 1

51 AAI accounted for 12% of variation in parental responsiveness Hypothesis 2 (10 studies)

52 Messinger52 Parent-Infant Correspondence

53 Messinger53 Parent-Infant Attachment Correspondence n Meta-analysis of 9 studies (k=9, n=548) using four major categories n Secure versus insecure, 74% n Four-way agreement, 63% – Prebirth AAI show 65% four-way agreement Which parent category is not so strong a predictor of infant category?

54 Messinger54 Parent-Infant Correspondence

55 Messinger55 Parent-Infant Attachment Correspondence Effect Sizes n How well does each of four categories predict corresponding infant classification? n Secure versus insecure, r =.48 n Dismiss versus not dismiss, r =.42 n Preoccupied versus not preoccupied, r =.19 n Unresolved versus not unresolved, r =.31

56 Messinger56 How might link work? n Parental attachment accounted for 12% of variation in observed parental responsiveness – Meta-analysis of 10 studies (r =.34) n Parental sensitive responsiveness is, in turn, associated with infant attachment security – van Ijzendoorn meta-analysis (r =.22)

57 Messinger57 Putting the pieces together Total Observed association, r =.47 (Direct * Direct) + Indirect = Total (.34 *.22) +.40 =.47 Parent Internal Working Model Sensitive Respon- siveness Attachment Security r =.34 r =.22.40

58 Messinger58 Breaking the Link n Parental attachment is not formed by past experiences but by current orientation to past. n Supportive experiences with a partner, friend or therapist can allow for earned autonomy in the face of experiences that would otherwise be associated with insecurity.

59 Messinger59 Interview n Interview a partner about one attachment figure focusing on questions 2 through 4 n Each person analyzes their own responses – no comments form partner n Only share what you want to share

60 Messinger60 Adult Attachment Interview

61 Messinger61 How to Think About What You’ve Said n Scales associated with autonomous category – coherence, metacognitive monitoring n Scales associated with dismissing category – Idealization of attachment figures, insistence on lack of memory for childhood, dismissal of attachment-related experience/relationships n Scales associated with preoccupied category – anger expressed toward attachment figure, passivity/vagueness in discourse

62 Longitudinal predictors of adult attachment n Ongoing environmental impacts – continued parental sensitivity – social functioning – friendship Messinger62

63 “What struck me,” said Apted, “is how valuable the family is. At 56, for people who put energy into families, there was a big payback.” Carter

64 Attachment has important implications for adult functioning But relies on adult self-reported attachment – Untested core assumption of adult attachment Follow up of NICHHD-Early Child Care and Youth age 18 – Maternal sensitivity – Social competence – Quality of peer relationships – Fraley, et al., 2013 Carter

65 Two-dimensional model (Bartholomew and Horowitz, 1991) – Attachment-related avoidance “avoid emotional closeness &intimacy, do not feel comfortable opening up to /depending on partner, are reluctant to ask partner for comfort, advice, or help.” Picardi, 2010 – Attachment-related anxiety preoccupied with romantic relationships, worry about abandonment, desire to be very close to partner, ask the partner for more feeling/commitment.” Picardi, 2010 Global vs. Domain specific – Romantic relationships Carter

66 Experiences in Close Relationship Scale – The ECR (Brennan et al., 1998) 36 5-point itemsBrennan et al., 1998 – “High Avoidance …tend to avoid emotional closeness and intimacy, do not feel comfortable opening up to or depending on their partner, and are reluctant to ask their partner for comfort, advice, or help. – High Anxiety.. tend to be preoccupied with their romantic relationships, worry about being abandoned, desire to be very close to their partner, and ask the partner for more feeling and commitment. “ Picardi, et al Carter

67 Early care impacts later attachment Est. early sensitivity received Est. change in qual. of care Maternal Sensitivity Maternal Depression Father Absence Social Competence (M) Social Competence (T) Friendship Quality Carter Fraley, et al., 2013

68 Regression Findings Attachment-Related Avoidance Global ↑ MS = ↓ Avoidant ↓ Dad = ↑ Avoidant ↑ SC = ↓ Avoidant ↑BFF = ↓ Avoidant Romantic ↑ Avoidant – ↓ Parental Sensitivity – ↓ Social competence – ↓ BFF’s Attachment-Related Anxiety Global ↑ MD = ↑ Anxiety ↑ SC = ↓ Anxiety Romantic ↑ Anxiety – ↑ Maternal Depression – ↓ Social competence – ↑ BFF’s Weird! Carter

69 Temperamental & Genetic Factors Temperament No statistically significant temperamental antecedents of adult attachment styles Gene & Gene X Environment No main effects of genetic variables previously studied C allele of HTR2A (serotonin receptor gene) Homozygous = ↑ global attachment related anxiety Carter

70 Messinger70 References n The Adult Attachment Interview: Historical and Current Perspectives – (Hesse, 1999) n Adult attachment representations, parental responsiveness, and infant attachment: A meta-analysis on the predictive validity of the Adult Attachment Interview – (van IJzendoorn, 1995) n Van Ijzendoorn, M. H., Schuengel, C., & Bakermans-Kranenburg, M. J. (1999). Disorganized attachment in early childhood: Meta-analysis of precursors, concomitants, and sequelae. Development and Psychopathology, 11, n Instability of infant-parent attachment security. Belsky, Jay; Campbell, Susan B.; Cohn, Jeffrey F.; Moore, Ginger. Developmental Psychology Sep Vol 32(5)

71 Messinger71 Instability of infant-parent attachment security n Infant-mother attachment classifications at 12 and 18 mo of age (n = 125, n = 90) – infant-father classifications at 13 and 20 mo (n = 120). n Significant stability was not discerned in attachment security, – either ABC or secure-insecure classifications. n Rates of stability ranged from 46-55%. – Samples - all sons in 1, some depressed mothers in 1 – past estimates of stability are based on small samples – potential influence of coding for disorganized behavior may have on how Strange Situations are classified, Belsky, Jay; Campbell, Susan B.; Cohn, Jeffrey F.; Moore, Ginger Developmental Psychology (5)

72 Messinger72 Too strong? n Association between parental attachment and sensitive responsivity not strong enough to account for parent-infant attachment correspondence. – Genetics? – Unmeasured in-home aspects of parent-infant interaction such as affective matching?

73 Messinger73 Stable insecurity predicts... n 12 & 18 month stable insecure kids show higher externalizing problems than stable secure kids at age 3 (Shaw & Vondra, 1995) n Insecure kids show more behavior problems in preschool (Erickson, Sroufe, & Egeland, 1985)


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