Attachment Disorganization in Infancy: A Developmental Precursor to Maladaptive Social Information Processing at Age 8

Lindsay Zajac, Megan K. Bookhout, Julie A. Hubbard, Elizabeth A. Carlson, Mary Dozier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examined infant attachment as a predictor of social information processing (SIP) in middle childhood (n = 82) while controlling for parental sensitivity in middle childhood. Attachment quality was assessed using the Strange Situation. Although attachment insecurity did not predict SIP, attachment disorganization positively predicted the early SIP steps of hostile attributional bias and aggressive goals. Children with disorganized attachments interpreted ambiguous provocations more negatively (as indicating more hostility, rejection, and disrespect and as resulting in more anger) and endorsed significantly more revenge and dominance goals than children with organized attachments. In contrast, parental sensitivity negatively predicted the later SIP step of positive expectations for aggressive responses. Results further our understanding of the adverse outcomes associated with attachment disorganization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)145-162
Number of pages18
JournalChild development
Volume91
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

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