ERIC Number: ED335808
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Three Studies of Attachment in Autism.
Rogers, Sally J.; And Others
Three studies examined proximity and contact behaviors (behaviors generally thought to be indicative of attachment relationships) in young autistic children. The first study examined the behavior of 32 young autistic children and children with pervasive developmental disorders (PDD) in a "strange situation" paradigm using four interactive subscales (proximity and contact seeking, contact maintenance, contact resistance, and proximity avoidance). Analysis revealed correlates between developmental variables involving chronological age, mental age, and language levels and overall attachment rating. However, no relationships between severity of autism and attachment ratings were found. The second study compared 17 of the original subjects to a matched group of nonautistic children with developmental and behavioral disorders. Frequency and distribution of overall security ratings were similar in both groups. However, the autistic/PDD group, unlike the comparison group, demonstrated significant relationships between overall security ratings and the developmental variables of chronological age, mental age, and language ability. The third study involved a longitudinal study of changes in overall security rating in the autistic/PDD subjects. Preliminary findings suggest that the PDD group demonstrated increases in overall security ratings over an 8-month period of time, as would be expected if developmental variables were contributing to security. It is concluded that forming attachment relationships may involve unique difficulties and processes for young PDD children. (JDD)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Impairment Severity
Note: Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (Seattle, WA, April 18-20, 1991).