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Title: Representation of self and socioemotional competence in kindergartners: differential and combined effects of attachment to mother and to father
Authors: Verschueren, Karine ×
Marcoen, Alfons #
Issue Date: Jun-1999
Series Title: Child Development vol:70 issue:1 pages:183-201
Abstract: In the present study, we examined the differential predictive power and the joint or compensatory effects of representations of child-mother and child-father attachment for children's representation of self and their socioemotional competence. The representations of attachment were assessed by an attachment story completion task, completed once for mother and once for father (in counterbalanced order). Eighty participants (40 boys and 40 girls), aged between 55 and 77 months (M = 5 years 3 months), took place in the study. The socioemotional competence (peer social competence, disruptive behavior, anxious/withdrawn behavior, and school adjustment) and behavioral manifestations of self-esteem were evaluated by the kindergarten teacher. The inner representation of self (positiveness of self, perceived competence, and social acceptance) was assessed in a subgroup of 50 children. Results showed that the relative predictive power of child-mother and child-father attachments differed according to the domain of child functioning that was assessed. More specifically, it was found that the child's positiveness of self was better predicted by the quality of the child-mother attachment representation than by the quality of the child-father attachment representation. In contrast, the child's anxious/withdrawn behavioral problems were better predicted by the quality of the child-father attachment representation than by the quality of the child-mother attachment representation. With regard to the joint effects of child-mother and child-father attachment, it was found that a secure attachment to one parent can compensate for or buffer against an insecure attachment to the other parent. However, the buffering effect was not complete.
ISSN: 0009-3920
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:School Psychology and Development in Context
Centre for Developmental Psychology (-)
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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