Attachment in Middle Childhood

Attachment in Middle Childhood

Attachment in Middle Childhood

Attachment in Middle Childhood

Synopsis

"A growing body of research has established that individuals who form secure attachments in early childhood or adolescence experience better social adjustment and mental health outcomes. Yet the important years between ages 6 and 12 have been relatively neglected in the literature. This unique volume is the first to bring together emerging theories and findings on attachment in middle childhood, including the results of key longitudinal studies. Timely and authoritative, it is essential reading for develop-mentalists, clinicians, and others concerned with the well-being of children and families. With contributions from leading investigators, the book explores the effects on attachment of a wide range of factors in middle childhood, including children's broadening network of social relationships. Compelling data are presented on whether the quality of attachment in middle childhood can be predicted by assessments earlier in life, and what may explain changes over time." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Excerpt

This book grew out of a small conference sponsored by Kent State University on the topic of attachment in middle childhood (roughly 6–12 years of age). The goal of the conference and the book is to advance theory and research on attachment in this understudied period. middle childhood (roughly 6–12 years of age). We already know a great deal about the operation, measurement, and correlates of parent–child attachment in infancy, early childhood, and adolescence. By contrast, although research exists on other aspects of parent–child relationships, very little research has been done on parent–child attachment in middle childhood. For example, the Handbook of Attachment (Cassidy & Shaver, 1999), which provides a very comprehensive survey of the field, has no chapters devoted to attachment in middle childhood. In fact, the topic is addressed in only one chapter (a one-page discussion on developmental changes in attachment; see Marvin & Britner, 1999). The present volume is intended to help fill that gap.

It is important to study attachment in middle childhood for several reasons. Middle childhood is an important time because many of the problems that emerge in adolescence (e.g., school dropout, delinquency, drug use) have antecedents in middle childhood. In addition, parents continue to be important sources of support to children in the middle childhood years. Despite a decline in the frequency and intensity of attachment behavior, parents continue to function as children's primary attachment figures and providers of social support during this age period. Furthermore, in order to address issues regarding continuity and change in attachment, we need conceptual approaches and assessment tools for all periods of childhood.

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