ERIC Number: EJ698296
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Sep
Reference Count: N/A
The Influence of Foster Parent Investment on Children's Representations of Self and Attachment Figures
Ackerman, J.P.; Dozier, M.
Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology: An International Lifespan Journal, v26 n5 p507-520 Sep 2005
This study examined associations between foster mothers' emotional investment, assessed when foster children were age 2, and foster children's representations of self and others, assessed when children were age 5. Caregiver investment was assessed using a semi-structured interview called the ''This is My Baby'' interview (TIMB; Bates, B., & Dozier, M. (2002). The importance of maternal state of mind regarding attachment and infant age at placement to foster mothers' representations of their foster infants. Infant Mental Health Journal, 23, 417-431.) administered to foster mothers when their foster children were age 2. Self-representations were assessed using a projective puppet interview (Cassidy, J. (1988). Child-mother attachment and the self in six-year olds. Child Development, 59, 121-134.) when children were age 5. Children's ability to cope with separations from caregivers was examined using the Separation Anxiety Test (SAT; Main, M., Kaplan, N., & Cassidy, J. (1985). Security in infancy, childhood and adulthood: A move to the level of representation. In I. Bretherton & E. Waters (Eds.), Growing points in attachment theory and research. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 50, (Serial No. 209), 66-104.). As predicted, foster mothers who were more accepting of their children early in the child-caregiver relationship had foster children who developed more positive self-representations than children whose foster mothers were less accepting. Additionally, caregiver acceptance was associated with children's quality of coping responses in response to caregiver separations, with high caregiver acceptance associated with effective solutions to separation scenarios.
Descriptors: Infants, Caregivers, Separation Anxiety, Mothers, Coping, Child Development, Foster Care
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Publication Type: Journal Articles
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