Intersections with Attachment

By Jacob L. Gewirtz; William M. Kurtines | Go to book overview

on overprotection than even the overprotective mothers in a normative sample. They were higher specifically on scales tapping maternal control and maternal concern. The mothers' own anxiety scores were correlated with their degree of overprotectiveness and with the prevalence of fears in the agoraphobic offspring. One problem with this study is that the information was collected retrospectively, after the offspring's agoraphobia developed, and thus, might, be subject to selective bias on the part of the respondents.

Gittelman and Klein (cited by Shader, 1984) found that a history of separation anxiety was significantly more common among parents of school phobic children (16 of 83, or 19%) then among parents of hyperkinetic children (2 of 84, or 2%).


CONCLUSIONS

Are attachment and separation as studied in infants and preschool children linked to separation anxiety disorder, agoraphobia, panic attacks, and difficulties in adjusting to divorce in later life? The evidence just reviewed is intriguing, suggestive, but at this point hardly conclusive. This is in fact one of the most tentative sounding papers we have ever had to write. What is most interesting about this exercise is that it does, as stated at the outset, provide the scaffolding for what could turn out to be a very interesting and useful theoretical building. Now we need to go out and collect the necessary evidence and to put in the energy needed to construct it. Of course, that leaves the possibility that it will not be so imposing a structure as it now appears to be, in prospect, or that it could have a significantly different shape than we now foresee.


REFERENCES

Achenbach T. M. ( 1978). The Child Behavior Profile. I: Boys aged 6-11. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 46, 478-488.

Ainsworth, M. D. ( 1964). Patterns of attachment behavior shown by the infant in interaction with his mother. Merrill-Pabner Quarterly, 10, 51-58.

Ainsworth M. D. S., & Wittig B. A. ( 1969). Attachment and exploratory behavior of one-year- olds in a strange situation. In B. M. Foss (Ed.), Determinants of infant behavior (Vol. 4). London: Methuen.

Allen R. G. ( 1982). Introduction. In R. L. DuPont (Ed.), Phobia: A comprehensive summary of modern treatments. New York: Brunner/Mazel.

American Psychiatric Association. ( 1980). DSM-III: Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders ( 3rd ed.). Washington, DC: APA.

Arend R., Gove F. L., & Sroufe L. A. ( 1979). Continuity of individual from infancy to kindergarten. Child Development, 50, 950-959.

Belkin E. P., & Routh D. K. ( 1975). Effects of presence of mother versus stranger on behavior of three-year-old children in a novel situation. Developmental Psychology, 11, 400.

Berg I., Marks I., McGuire R., & Lipsedge M. ( 1974). School phobia and agoraphobia. Psychological Medicine, 4, 428-434.

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