Attachment Security and Attentional Breadth toward the Attachment Figure in Middle Childhood
Bosmans, Guy × Braet, Caroline Koster, Ernst De Raedt, Rudi #
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates
Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology vol:38 issue:6 pages:872-882
To increase our understanding of the cognitive processes involved in internal working models of attachment, this study investigated the relationship between secure attachment and attentional breadth to mother using a dual task design. The content of the cues (mother vs. unfamiliar women) and the duration of the presentation of the cues (34 msec, 100 msec, and 250 msec) were varied. The test was administered to 40 elementary school children between 9 and 12 years of age. As predicted, less securely attached children had a more narrow attentional field around mother at 34 msec. Lower levels of maternal autonomy support were similarly linked with a more narrow attentional field. In conformity with attachment theory, this effect was fully mediated by the child's level of trust toward mother.