How do attachment styles change from childhood through adolescence? Findings from an accelerated longitudinal Cohort study

Jaclyn C. Theisen, R. Chris Fraley, Benjamin L. Hankin, Jami F. Young, William J. Chopik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Attachment theorists emphasize both the stability of attachment styles across time and their potential for change. The authors examined mean-level changes in attachment styles using an accelerated longitudinal cohort design. Specifically, 690 children, aged 8–19, completed self-report measures of attachment to their mothers 3 times over 3 years in 3 distinct cohorts (Grades 3, 6, and 9). Attachment-related anxiety started and remained low across time. Attachment-related avoidance, however, started low but gradually increased over time. These results suggest that, although children continue to see their mothers as available if needed, they come to relate to their mothers in more avoidant ways during this important developmental period.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)141-146
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Research in Personality
Volume74
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2018

Keywords

  • Adolescence
  • Attachment
  • Childhood
  • Parent-child relationship
  • Trajectory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Psychology(all)

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