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Expanding Attachment Theory into Preschool: Exploring the Association Between Attachment Security and Maternal Sensitivity

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Title: Expanding Attachment Theory into Preschool: Exploring the Association Between Attachment Security and Maternal Sensitivity
Author: Abdel-Baki, Rita
Department: Department of Psychology
Program: Psychology
Advisor: Bailey, Heidi
Abstract: Previous research has explored attachment theory in infancy and adulthood, but relatively less has focused on the preschool age. Our study aimed to expand a central tenet of attachment theory into the preschool age by exploring the concurrent association between attachment security and maternal sensitivity. Children (N = 100, M age = 45 months) completed a behavioural assessment of attachment security and a measure of maternal sensitivity with their mothers, and a representational assessment of attachment security with an examiner. The association between each measure of attachment security and maternal sensitivity was explored. Overall, behavioural attachment security was moderately associated with maternal sensitivity (r = .18, 95% CI [-.03, .37]; however, representational attachment was not. Additional exploratory analyses aimed at understanding our results were conducted and discussed, along with the need for future research to include consideration of continuous variables and expand beyond the mother-child dyad.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10214/16941
Date: 2019-06
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