Attachment Narratives and Behavioral and Emotional Symptoms in an Ethnically Diverse, At-Risk Sample

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Abstract

Objective:

To examine the clinical correlates and predictions from attachment narratives in a sample of early school-age children from a high psychosocial risk, ethnically diverse sample.

Method:

A total of 113 children were assessed using the Manchester Child Attachment Story Task, a semistructured assessment of children's attachment representations. Parents and teachers provided data using the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire. Peer nominations of popularity and antisocial behavior were also obtained.

Results:

Significant associations that were modest to moderate in magnitude were obtained between attachment narrative scales indexing security, coherence, and disorganization with multiple indices of children's behavioral and emotional adjustment, prosocial behavior and competence; these associations held across ethnic groups and were independent of psychosocial risk.

Conclusions:

The findings build on and extend support for the use of attachment narrative assessments in the clinical context and demonstrate their applicability and validity across a broad range of ethnicity and social contexts.

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