Secure Attachment in Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder: The Role of Maternal Insightfulness

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Do children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) form attachments to their caregivers? This article reviews research challenging the conventional view that children with autism are unable to form healthy attachment relationships. The authors describe a study examining the role of maternal insightfulness into the inner world of the child in promoting secure attachment in children with ASD. Insightfulness is defined as the capacity to think about the motives that underlie their child's behavior, to be open to new and unexpected behaviors of the child, to show acceptance of the child's challenging behaviors, and to see the child in a multidimensional way. The findings showed that insightful mothers were more likely to have securely attached children than were noninsightful mothers and that both insightfulness and security were unrelated to the severity of children's diagnoses or their level of functioning.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-30
Number of pages6
JournalZero to Three
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2008


  • Mothers
  • Autism
  • Parent Child Relationship
  • Attachment Behavior
  • Pervasive Developmental Disorders
  • Role
  • Security (Psychology)
  • Behavior Problems
  • Parent Role
  • Severity (of Disability)


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