Associations between Parenting Style and Quality of Attachment to Mother in the Middle Childhood and Adolescence

Associations between Parenting Style and Quality of Attachment to Mother in the Middle Childhood and Adolescence

Associations between Parenting Style and Quality of Attachment to Mother in the Middle Childhood and Adolescence

Associations between Parenting Style and Quality of Attachment to Mother in the Middle Childhood and Adolescences

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Référence bibliographique [6684]

Karavasilis, Leigh. 1999. «Associations between Parenting Style and Quality of Attachment to Mother in the Middle Childhood and Adolescence». Mémoire de maîtrise, Montréal, Université Concordia, Département de psychologie.

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1. Objectifs


Intentions :
« The present research attempted to bring together the attachment and parenting styles literatures in the investigation of how established parenting factors relate to the quality of children’s attachments to their mothers in middle childhood and adolescence. A primary objective in elucidating the relation between parenting and attachment at these later stages of development is to help bridge the gap that presently exists in the developmental literature. A simultaneous goal is to broaden the framework typically used in studying parental correlates of attachment, by including such variables as psychological autonomy and behavioral control that are likely to become increasingly important as children mature. » (p. 33)

Questions/Hypothèses :
« Specifically, the following questions were investigated: Does the association between the dimensions of parenting style (Parental Involvement-PI, Psychological Autonomy-PA, and Behavioral Control-BC) distinguish between secure and insecure attachment to mother in middle childhood and adolescence? Are these parenting dimensions also able to differentiate between the various types of insecure attachment? Is continuity observed in these associations across middle childhood and adolescence? » (p. 34) « Based on the research previously reviewed, it was expected that: 1) Children who reported higher levels of security were expected to also report having parents who provide loving and responsive involvement (PI), foster their psychological autonomy (PA) through democratic discipline while exerting a significant degree of behavioral control (BC) through appropriate monitoring of behavior and limit setting. High levels on all three of these dimensions represents authoritative parenting which is deemed the most optimal parenting style (Steinberg et al., 1995). 2) A negative relation was expected between children’s levels of avoidant (elementary school) and dismissing-avoidant (high school) attachment and their views of PI, PA and BC. Low levels on all three of these dimensions is referred to as negligent parenting and is found to be the least optimal parenting style. 3) Evidence suggests that mothers of children who are more preoccupied tend to be inconsistent in their parenting, being at times highly insensitive and uninvolved while at others fairly capable and sometimes overcompensating (Ainsworth et al., 1978; Stevenson-Hinde, 1995). Therefore, a significant relation between preoccupied attachment and overall PI and BC was not expected. However, a negative relationship was expected to emerge in relation to PA since mothers of these children have been found to behave intrusively and in a manner that inhibits their children’s emerging autonomy (Cassidy + Berlin, 1994). 4) In addition, children’s reports of their levels of fearful attachment (high school only), also an avoidant style, were expected to be negatively associated with PI, PA and BC. Evidence has shown this attachment style to be related to uncaring and intrusive over-control (Strayer + Preece, 1999). Given that fearful-avoidance is distinguished from dismissing-avoidance by a negative self-view, it is anticipated that lack of nurturance toward personal competence and efficacy, as measured by parental fostering of psychological autonomy, may play a stronger role in the prediction of this type of avoidant attachment. » (p. 35)

2. Méthode


Échantillon/Matériau :
« Thus 414 participants remained in the final sample for the present study. Participants comprised 202 elementary school children in grades 4 through 6 (89 boys and 113 girls) and 212 high school students in grades 7 through 11 (103 boys and 109 girls). [...] These children were between 9 and 18 years of age from two French-language elementary schools and one high school in the suburban Montreal area. » (p. 37)

Instruments :
« In the younger group, secure attachment was assessed by the Network of Relationships Questionnaire (NRI; Fuhrman and Buhrmester, 1985) and two types of insecure attachment by the Coping Styles Questionnaire (CSQ; Finnegan et al., 1996). In adolescence, secure attachment and three types of insecure attachment were measured by the Relationship Questionnaire (RQ; Bartholomew + Horowitz, 1991). All participants provided ratings on three dimensions of parenting style characteristic of their families (parental involvement, psychological autonomy granting, and behavioral control) using the Steinberg Parenting Styles Questionnaire (Lamborn et al., 1991). » (p. iii)

Type de traitement des données :
Analyse statistique

3. Résumé


« Association between parenting style and the quality of child attachment to mother were investigated in middle childhood and adolescence. [...] As predicted, the three parenting factors successfully differentiated between different styles of attachment to mother. At both ages authoritative parenting (i.e., higher levels of all three parenting dimensions) was positively associated with secure attachment to mother, whereas negligent parenting (i.e., lower levels on all three parenting dimensions) predicted insecure attachment, although results were less straightforward for preoccupied attachment. Further, unique patterns of contributions by the parenting dimensions distinguished between different types of insecure attachment. Specifically, parental involvement and psychological autonomy granting uniquely predicted secure and fearful attachment but in opposite directions; parental involvement and behavioral control made independent negative contributions to avoidant, dismissing attachment; and psychological autonomy granting uniquely contributed to preoccupied attachment in adolescence. Findings on the whole were consistent across the two age groups except for preoccupied attachment in middle childhood, for which results were non-significant. Validity of the measure for insecure attachment in middle childhood was also discussed. » (pp. iii-iv)