Attachment representations in adulthood: Relations with parental behaviors

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Abstract: The paper presents two standardized measurements of attachment. The Strange Situation Procedure is an observational measure of the reaction of 12-18-month-old infants to their parent after being exposed to brief separations from him/her. Four main types of responses are noted, and have been noted in a range of cultures. The second measure is the Adult Attachment Interview which is a semi-structured interview of 18 questions that discusses childhood memories and assesses the current state of mind with regard to attachment issues. Four types of characteristic response styles have been noted in a range of cultures, and this measure seems to be related to certain types of parenting. Studies of the link between the two measures have been complicated, as the adult measure does not include the capacity to be available for the child. A further instrument, the Maternal Empathie Understanding Procedure, designed to assess parent's ability to see things from the child's point of view, is suggested as a possible mediator between parental attachment style and parenting behavior. These studies permit standardized evaluation of parenting skills, facilitate the study of intergenerational transmission of these skills, and suggest the possibility of psychotherapeutic interventions that focus on these areas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)178-189
Number of pages12
JournalIsrael Journal of Psychiatry and Related Sciences
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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