Unraveling middle childhood attachment-related behavior sequences using a micro-coding approach

Autoři: Nadja Bodner aff001;  Guy Bosmans aff002;  Jasmien Sannen aff003;  Martine Verhees aff003;  Eva Ceulemans aff001
Působiště autorů: Quantitative Psychology and Individual Differences Research Group, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium aff001;  Clinical Psychology Research Group, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium aff002;  Parenting and Special Education Research Unit, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium aff003;  Clinical Child and Family Studies, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands aff004
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(10)
Kategorie: Research Article
doi: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0224372


Attachment theory states that children learn to trust in their parent’s availability and support if they repeatedly experience that their parents respond sensitively to their needs during distress. Attachment is thus developed and shaped by day-to-day interactions, while at the same time, each interaction is a momentary expression of the attachment relation. How attachment-related behaviors of mother and child follow upon each other during interactions in middle childhood, and how these sequences differ in function of attachment quality, has hardly been studied up to now. To fill this gap, we analyzed the micro-coded interaction of 55 mother-child dyads (27 girls, 28 boys, mean age: 10.3) after a standardized stress-induction. Results reveal that all mother-child dyads show a loop between positive mother and child behaviors. This pattern is complemented with a loop of negative mother and child behaviors in low-trust and more avoidantly attached children: these children tend to handle negative mother behavior less well as they show more negative behavior and less positive behavior in response to negative maternal behavior. More anxiously attached children also show less positive behavior, but react positively on collaborative interactions. The micro-coded interactions thus reveal important insights that inform practitioners and advance attachment theory.

Klíčová slova:

Anxiety – Behavior – Coding mechanisms – Emotions – Children – Infants – Mothers – Parenting behavior


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