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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Child images of attachment figures and self Head, Tim


Child Attachment-Related Conceptualizations of Parents, Teacher and Self; Forced Choice Visual Representations Along a Permitting/Blocking Access Dimension. Twenty-three 5 to 7-year-old boys were shown drawings depicting themselves with their mother, father or main teacher in one of 8 attachment-related situations. Subjects were primarily Caucasian and lived in a suburban neighbourhood in Richmond, B.C. They were asked to select from 4 response categories the caregiver "most like" their mom, dad or main teacher. Response categories were generated from attachment theory. Individual and group inner image profiles were developed from the 552 selections. The variable "situation", but not the variable "caregiver", was determined by loglinear analysis to be significant beyond the .05 level (p. = .035). The childrens' selections were demonstrated to be relevant and non-haphazard within and across response categories. The analyses provide significant support for the validity of the response categories and the centrality of the underlying dimension of "permitting/blocking access". In addition, the study supports the notion of viewing main female teachers after 9 or 10 months with a child - as an attachment figure to that child. A fairly generalized meta-structure of internal working models is suggested by this group profile. Finally, this study gives support to the notion of situational specificity of caregiver response under conditions of child attachment behavioural system activation.

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