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Does Mother’s Rather than Father’s Attachment Representation Contribute to the Adolescent’s Attachment Representation?

Does Mother’s Rather than Father’s Attachment Representation Contribute to the Adolescent’s... Steele, Perez, Segal, and Steele (2016) provide an important piece of empirical data, which addresses central questions of attachment theory that have bothered attachment researchers from the beginning and are still unanswered. These questions refer to continuity of attachment differences from early childhood to adolescence and adulthood, and to the trans-generational transmission of attachment patterns.Steele and colleagues reported that reflective functioning in adolescence could not be predicted by quality of early infant attachment, but was associated with maternal (but not paternal) attachment representation, assessed before the adolescents’ birth. Although reflective functioning is not equivalent to the classification of attachment representation, it constitutes an essential component of it and therefore the findings provide valuable information for the central questions mentioned. The important main message of the study is: There is no continuity of attachment differences from infancy to adolescence, but attachment in adolescence (in the same way as in infancy) can be predicted by maternal attachment representation. The same message was portrayed almost 20 years ago by Klaus Grossmann’s group, based on findings from the Bielefeld Longitudinal Study (Zimmermann, Fremmer-Bombik, Spangler, & Grossmann, 1997).For a long time, the majority of attachment researchers cherished the idea of long-term stability of individual http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Developmental Science IOS Press

Does Mother’s Rather than Father’s Attachment Representation Contribute to the Adolescent’s Attachment Representation?

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Publisher
IOS Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2016 IOS Press and the authors. All rights reserved
ISSN
2192-001X
DOI
10.3233/DEV-16202
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Steele, Perez, Segal, and Steele (2016) provide an important piece of empirical data, which addresses central questions of attachment theory that have bothered attachment researchers from the beginning and are still unanswered. These questions refer to continuity of attachment differences from early childhood to adolescence and adulthood, and to the trans-generational transmission of attachment patterns.Steele and colleagues reported that reflective functioning in adolescence could not be predicted by quality of early infant attachment, but was associated with maternal (but not paternal) attachment representation, assessed before the adolescents’ birth. Although reflective functioning is not equivalent to the classification of attachment representation, it constitutes an essential component of it and therefore the findings provide valuable information for the central questions mentioned. The important main message of the study is: There is no continuity of attachment differences from infancy to adolescence, but attachment in adolescence (in the same way as in infancy) can be predicted by maternal attachment representation. The same message was portrayed almost 20 years ago by Klaus Grossmann’s group, based on findings from the Bielefeld Longitudinal Study (Zimmermann, Fremmer-Bombik, Spangler, & Grossmann, 1997).For a long time, the majority of attachment researchers cherished the idea of long-term stability of individual

Journal

International Journal of Developmental ScienceIOS Press

Published: Jan 1, 2016

References