Ecological constraints for intergenerational transmission of attachment

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To determine whether the transmission of attachment across generations is free from contextual constraints, adult attachment representations were assessed in two kibbutz settings, home-based and communal sleeping. It was hypothesised that under extreme child-rearing circumstances, such as the communal sleeping arrangement, the transmission of attachment is not evident, whereas in the more regular home-based environment the expected transmission of attachment will be found. The participants were 45 mothers and 45 infants, about equal numbers of boys and girls, from 20 kibbutz infant houses with communal sleeping arrangements, and from 25 kibbutz infant houses with home-based sleeping arrangements. Mothers were administered the Adult Attachment Interview (AAI), and infants were assessed through the Ainsworth Strange Situation. Among the home-based pairs, a correspondence of 76% was found between AAI and Strange Situation classifications, whereas the correspondence was only 40% in the communal sleeping group. It is argued that living in a communal sleeping arrangement reduces the expected transmission of attachment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-299
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Development
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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