Bizzi, F., Shmueli-Goetz, Y., Castellano, R., & Cavanna, D.
A multi-assessment approach to attachment in middle childhood and early adolescence in two clinical groups
Whilst it is widely recognised that attachment is a fundamental aspect of psychological wellbeing, there is little research on attachment in specific psychopathological conditions, in middle childhood and early adolescence. This study seeks to evaluate the role of attachment in patients (8-15 years) with somatic symptom disorders (SSDs) and with disruptive behavior disorders (DBDs). A battery of assessments was completed: Child Attachment Interview, Separation Anxiety Test, and Kerns Security Scale. Findings on “attachment models” showed an over-representation of insecure attachment patterns with a preponderance of disorganized attachment in both clinical groups. On “perceived security,” SSD participants viewed their parents as safer than DBD participants, but, regarding “separation anxiety,” they did not show higher separation anxiety. Therefore, a multi-assessment approach is likely to yield a more accurate picture of attachment organization at this age, and to capture attachment processes in SSDs and DBDs.
Testing, Psychometrics, Methodology in Applied Psychology, 2018, Vol. 25, pp. 409-427 , DOI: 10.4473/TPM25.3.6