Attachment style as a predictor of behavior in group counseling with preadolescents

Zipora Shechtman, Varda Dvir

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    This study investigated the role that attachment style plays in preadolescent behavior in group counseling. The study population consisted of 77 preadolescents referred to counseling services in their schools in Israel. They were treated in 11 small counseling groups led by novice counselors. Variables included self-disclosure, client behavior in therapy, and responsiveness to other group members-all assessed based on transcribed sessions. Participants also completed attachment questionnaires. The analyses were performed with hierarchical modeling (mixed) nesting individuals within groups. Results indicated differences on all dependent variables among the three attachment styles: secure, preoccupied, and avoidant. Secure adolescents showed the highest rates of self-disclosure, productive client behavior, and responsiveness to others, whereas avoidant participants showed the lowest scores on all measures. Gender, age, and group size showed little effect. The discussion focuses on implications for group therapists.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)29-42
    Number of pages14
    JournalGroup Dynamics
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - Mar 2006


    • Attachment
    • Group counseling/psychotherapy
    • Preadolescents

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Social Psychology
    • Applied Psychology


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