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MONTEIRO, Lígia et al. The study of the secure base phenomenon in the family context: child/mother and child/father relationships. Psicologia [online]. 2008, vol.22, n.1, pp.104-125. ISSN 0874-2049.

This paper high lights the importance of a family system approach to the study of attachment, in a naturalistic environment, by analysing the way the child uses both mother and father as a secure base, as well as, the concurrence or independence of this attachment relationships. 56 mother/child and father/child díades participated in the study. Children’s ages range between 29 and 38 months. Independent observers, made home observations of the child with the mother and the child with the father, using the AQS (Waters, 1995). No differences were found between mean averages for security scores for mothers and fathers, showing that the child is able to use both parents as secure-bases. Significant differences were found in the Proximity and Physical Contact scales between both parents, suggesting that mothers and fathers probably have different communicative styles. A significant correlation was found between security scores for mother and father, a result comparable to the one obtained by Veríssimo et al. (2006). This could be explained by the similarity on parental caregiving behaviour.

Keywords : secure base phenomenon; parental figures; similarities vs. difference.

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