The concurrent association between security of attachment and adaptive functioning at school in middle childhood was examined. A sample of 113 children of 4th and 5th grade filled out a self-report measure of attachment security (Kerns, Klepac, & Cole, 1996) and were administered the Doll Story Completion task (Bretherton, Ridgeway, & Cassidy, 1990b) modified for use with children in middle childhood to assess the quality and the security of attachment-related representations of the relationship with the mother. According to the latter measure children were classified as secure, avoidant, ambivalent, or disorganised with regard to attachment. Their teachers completed several questionnaires assessing each child's academic achievement, emotional and social adjustment, and frequency of behavioural problems. In addition, each participating class underwent a sociometric procedure. Findings based on correlations and comparisons of attachment groups indicated that secure children showed better adjustment to school as reflected in teachers' reports of scholastic, emotional, social, and behavioural adjustment, as well as in peer-rated social status. Avoidant and disorganised children showed the poorest adjustment. Findings indicated the usefulness of attachment theory in understanding adjustment to the school environment in middle childhood.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
- Developmental Neuroscience
- Life-span and Life-course Studies