ERIC Number: ED436278
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999-Apr
Are the Correlates of Children's Internal Working Models of Attachment Gender Specific?
Broberg, Anders G.; Wiberg, Charlotta; Gyland, Patrik; Ramsby, Louise; Bohlin, Gunilla; Rydell, Ann-Margret
Noting that gender may be an important issue when studying relations between attachment and social functioning, four studies explored whether the relationship between children's internal working models of attachment and their general functioning was gender specific. A total of 246 children, ages 5 to 10 years, were given the Separation Anxiety Test (SAT) and various measures of intelligence and social competence, including the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test and the Progressive Matrices. Preschool teachers and mothers rated children's prosocial orientation and social initiative. The findings indicated that there were no gender differences on any of the SAT-variables in any study. Five- to 7-year-olds scored lower on attachment and security of attachment than did older children. Internal working models of attachment were related to intelligence scores in girls but not boys. In 5- to 6-year-old boys, insecure internal working models of attachment (IWMs) were related to preschool teachers' ratings of ambivalent parent-child relations. Among girls, however, insecure IWMs were related to avoidant behavior during everyday reunions. Among 5- to 6-year-olds, only boys' IWMs were related to preschool teachers' ratings of peer competence. Among 8- to 10-year-olds, IWMs were related in different ways to self-, maternal-, and teacher-ratings of empathy and to observed social behavior for boys and girls. The SAT measures most consistently related to social competence were attachment responses for girls and self-reliance responses for boys. (KB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (Albuquerque, NM, April 15-18, 1999).