Social information processing in middle childhood: Relations to infant-mother attachment

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Abstract

This longitudinal study was designed to examine the links between infant-mother attachment and social information processing in middle childhood. The Strange Situation was used to assess infant-mother attachment at 12 months and a revised and adapted Hebrew version of the Social Information Processing Interview (Dodge & Price, 1994) was used to measure social information processing in middle childhood (at 7.5 years). Findings revealed that with regard to both peer-group relationships and mother-child relationships, secure children demonstrated more competent social information processing than insecure-ambivalent children in one out of four social information processing stages. The major characteristic distinguishing secure from insecure-ambivalent children's social information processing was their level of expectations from others: secure children expected others to be emotionally and instrumentally available to them (but in the case of peers - only if their own behavior was socially acceptable), whereas ambivalent children did not expect others to be available to them in both peer-group and mother-child circumstances.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)327-348
Number of pages22
JournalAttachment and Human Development
Volume6
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2004

Keywords

  • Attachment
  • Middle childhood
  • Social information processing
  • Strange situation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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