Early attachment and maternal insightfulness predict educational placement of children with autism

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We examined whether mothers' insightfulness - their capacity to "see things from the child's point of view" - and children's attachment, both assessed during the preschool years, are associated with the educational placement of children with ASD in middle childhood and early adolescence beyond the prediction offered by children's IQ and interactive competence. 39 boys with autism and their mothers participated. We assessed mothers' insightfulness, and children's attachment to their mothers, their intelligence and their interactional competencies. The results supported our hypothesis. The emotional quality of the relationship between the children and their mothers during the preschool age, as reflected in the mothers' insightfulness and the children's attachment security, predicted children's educational placement in inclusive programs 4.5 and 8.5 years later, over and above the prediction offered by children's IQ and their interactive competence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)958-967
Number of pages10
JournalResearch in Autism Spectrum Disorders
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2014
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by Grant 824/02 from the Israel Science Foundation and by Grant 2160 from Autism Speaks . The authors would like to extend special thanks to the families and children for participating in the study. We also thank Edna Ben-Simhon Mualem, Alona Dinnerman, Smadar Gertner and Shirly Yerachmiel for their help in collecting and coding the data and Cory Shulman for her assistance with children's diagnostic assessments.


  • Attachment
  • Autism
  • Educational placement
  • Maternal insightfulness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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