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VERISSIMO, Manuela  and  SALVATERRA, Fernanda. Mothers' Internal Model of attachment and Their Children's Secure Base Behaviour in an adopted sample. Psicologia [online]. 2006, vol.20, n.1, pp.37-50. ISSN 0874-2049.

Studying the quality of attachment in adopted children is of great importance for the attachment theory allowing for an evaluation of the quality of attachment and its development in families that do not have the same genetic information nor do they share a familial history. The objec­tives of the current study are to evaluate if the child’s age at the time of adoption affects the quality of attachment established within the new family and if a relation­ship between the mother’s internal working model and the adopted child’s secure­‑base behaviour exists. The AQS (Waters, 1987) was used to examine the characterization of the quality of the mother­‑child attachment relationship and the Maternal Narratives (H. Waters & Rodrigues­‑Doolabh, 2001) were used to access the mother’s internal working model. No significant correlation was found be­tween the child’s age and the quality of attachment suggesting that the child can establish meaningful relationships at 2, 3 and 4 years of age, thus stressing the importance of the presence of maternal sensitivity in the development of affec­tional ties. The results show that the quality of scripts of maternal secure base is associated with the criterion of security in children. Thus, these results go hand in hand with Ainsworth´s findings which emphasize the importance of maternal sensitivity in the construction of a secure attachment, and support one of the basic principles of the attachment theory, “transgenerationality”, where the mother’s internal working model mediates the quality of childcare and interactions established with the child.

Keywords : attachment; adoption; internal working models.

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