Two antecedents of the insightfulness of adolescents into a close friend's experience were examined: The insightfulness of the mother and the attachment of the child, both measured when the adolescent was an infant. We hypothesized that both antecedents would be associated with adolescent insightfulness. Maternal insightfulness was assessed using the Insightfulness Assessment (IA) in which mothers are interviewed about their children’s thoughts and feelings after viewing short video segments of their interactions with their children, and infant attachment was assessed using the Strange Situation Procedure. Adolescent insightfulness was assessed using an adaptation of the IA in which the adolescents were interviewed about their friend’s thoughts and feelings after viewing short video segments of their interactions with them. As predicted, the results showed that adolescents were more likely to show insightfulness toward their friend when their mothers had been insightful toward them when they were infants and when they had secure attachment with their mothers. When both predictors were considered together, maternal insightfulness remained predictive of adolescent insightfulness but infant attachment was no longer significant.
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- adolescent friendship
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health
- Developmental and Educational Psychology