Relations between strange situation behavior and stranger sociability among infants on Israeli Kibbutzim

Abraham Sagi, Michael E. Lamb, William Gardner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Eighty-six kibbutz-reared infants were observed in the Strange Situation with their mothers, fathers, and metaplot on three separate occasions between 11 and 14 months of age. Prior to each Strange Situation, sociability with male and female strangers was assessed. A-group and B-group infants were significantly more sociable than B4- and C-group infants. Relations with stranger sociability were strongest for Strange Situation classifications of infant-parent attachement. It was also necessary to abbreviate many of the Strange Situation sessions: usually the infants whose sessions were abbreviated obtained very low sociability scores and were classified in the B4- and C-groups. Findings confirmed previous relations between Strange Situation classifications and stranger sociability, but cast doubt on the appropriateness of considering the B4 subgroup as part of the "secure" B group. They also suggest that variations in stranger sociability (or its extreme negative pole, stranger distress) may in some cases determine variations in Strange Situation classifications, rather than the reverse.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)271-282
Number of pages12
JournalInfant Behavior and Development
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1986

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by intramural research funds provided by the School of Social Work at the University of Haifa. The authors are grateful to Gabriel Lanyi for his administrative assistance, to Yona Berkovitz. Ronit Bogler, Daniel Cerro, Rachel Dvir, David Estes, Racheli Goldman, Kathleen Lewkowicz, and Ronit Shoham for assistance in the collection, reduction, and analysis of the data, to the staff of Oranim Center for Kibbutz Research and the individual kibbutzim for their help, and to the parents, metaplot, and children for their goodwill and cooperation. Correspondence and requests for reprints should be addressed to Michael E. Lamb, Department of Psychology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah 84112, or Abraham Sagi, School of Social Work, University of Haifa, Haifa 31999. Israel.


  • attachment
  • attachment classifications
  • individual differences
  • kibbutzim
  • strange situation
  • stranger sociability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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