Attachment in infancy and personal space regulation in early adolescence

Yair Bar-Haim, Ora Aviezer, Yair Berson, Abraham Sagi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study longitudinally assessed associations between secure and ambivalent attachment with mothers, fathers and professional caregivers in infancy, and personal space regulation and perceived interpersonal competence in 64 early adolescents (31 boys, 33 girls). Children classified as ambivalently attached to their mothers and/or professional caregivers in infancy displayed significantly larger permeability of personal space as compared with children classified as securely attached. Attachment classifications with fathers were not associated with personal space behavior at 12 years of age. Children who had an insecure attachment relationship with both the mother and the professional caregiver in infancy displayed smaller personal space boundaries, and tolerated larger intrusions into their personal space as compared with children who had two secure attachments in infancy. Finally, perceived interpersonal competence was positively correlated with personal space permeability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-83
Number of pages16
JournalAttachment and Human Development
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the United States–Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF) grant no. 90.W-ea4e gr 8rfu9falotthherlep ec fomeunts mpl rd oby Mavrinuisde H. van IJndoorn zaend Ori Dan on early versions of the manuscript. We thank Motti Gini fohis rasstancesiin data collection and data management and Arza Avrhamai and Yehudit Binyamin of the Institute for Research on Kibbutz Education at Oranim for help in recruiting the participants. Special thanks are extended to the children and thir e parentsa wesll a s the educational co-ordinators in the kibbutzim.


  • Attachment
  • Father
  • Intimacy
  • Longitudinal
  • Personal space

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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