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Psicologia, Saúde & Doenças

Print version ISSN 1645-0086


PINTO, Alexandra et al. Attachment and internal working model of the self in preschool children. Psic., Saúde & Doenças [online]. 2013, vol.14, n.3, pp.515-528. ISSN 1645-0086.

Attachment theory suggests that notions about the self and representations of the attachment relationships become internalized over the time within a matching mode, with early interactions performing a crucial role on this process. Nevertheless, few studies looked at the associations between self-concept and attachment quality during the preschool period, as this study aims to do. Participants were 70 Portuguese children, aged between 4 and 5 years. Quality of attachment representations was assessed through the Attachment Story Completion Task - ASCT (Bretherton et al., 1990). All the 5 stories were videotaped and rated, by three blinded trained coders, on a 8-point scale for Coherence and Security (Bretherton, Ridgeway & Cassidy, 1990). Inter-rater agreement reached, respectively, 0,81 and 0,85. Self representations were assessed using the Puppet Interview (Cassidy, 1986) to evaluate the internal working model of the self. Results show the relation between attachment relationship and the organization of the child self internal working model. Children with a secure attachment model showed a more positive internal model of the self. Our results support the presence of connections between the quality of the attachment representations and the global representation of the self. In the future it would also be important to diversify our sample, presently a non-risk one, so that different patterns of association between self-concept and attachment representations can be explored.

Keywords : attachment; internal working models; self-concept.

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