Adolescent insightfulness toward a close friend: its roots in maternal insightfulness and child attachment in infancy

Tali Shahar-Maharik, David Oppenheim, Nina Koren-Karie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-254
Number of pages18
JournalAttachment and Human Development
Volume20
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 4 May 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Keywords

  • Attachment
  • adolescent friendship
  • insightfulness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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