Psychologie a její kontexty, Vol.6, No.2
Reprezentácia vzťahovej väzby ako prediktor internalizujúcich problémov u detí v strednom detstve
Attachment representation as predictor of internalizing problems in middle childhood
Mária Halamová, Marta Popelková
Cieľom predkladanej štúdie bolo zistiť, či aktuálna reprezentácia vzťahovej väzby k matke predikuje internalizujúce problémy u detí v strednom detstve, a či sú modely genderovo-špecifické. Výskumnú vzorku tvorilo 151 detí vo veku 9-12 rokov, ktorým sme administrovali dotazníky Škála istoty, Škála zjavnej anxiety pre deti CMAS, Škála klasickej sociálne-situačnej anxiety KSAT a Sebaposudzovacia škála depresivity pre deti CDI. S využitím lineárnej regresnej analýzy sme zistili, že bezpečná reprezentácia väzby k matke významne negatívne predikuje výskyt internalizujúcich problémov u detí v strednom detstve, s výnimkou sociálnej anxiety, a to bez ohľadu na pohlavie detí. Genderovo-špecifické vzorce predikcie sme zaznamenali len v prípade dvoch symptómov depresivity (Zlá nálada a Anhedónia). Výsledky sú v súlade s teoretickými a empirickými predpokladmi a naznačujú, že kvalita vzťahovej väzby k matke je dôležitým faktorom adaptívneho vývinu aj u detí v strednom detstve.
reprezentácia vzťahovej väzby, stredné detstvo, internalizujúce problémy, anxiozita, depresivita
Problem: The current study examines the relationship between the representation of attachment relationship with mother and internalizing problems in the developmental period of middle childhood. The purpose of the study was to analyze whether the quality of attachment predicts the intensity and seriousness of internalizing problems in middle childhood; and to examine whether the models are gender-specific.
Methods: Participants in this study were 151 children aged 9-12 (M = 11.21), 77 boys and 74 girls, recruited from elementary schools in Nitra region. Children completed measures assessing the quality of attachment representation of the relationship with mother (selfreport questionnaire Security Scale), the tendency to react anxiously (self-report questionnaire Childen´s Manifest Anxiety Scale – CMAS), social anxiety (self-report questionnaire Scale of Classical Social Situational Anxiety – KSAT) and depression (self-report questionnaire Children´s Depression Inventory – CDI). Results: Regression analysis indicated that secure attachment representation is a significant negative predictor of children's internalizing problems – manifest anxiety (ß = -.324, p < .001), the total of depression symptoms (ß = -.377, p < .001) and all of the subcategories of depressive symptomathology (ß = -.230, p < .01 for Negative Mood; ß = -.253, p < .01 for Interpersonal Problems; ß = -.316, p < .001 for Inefectiveness; ß = .215, p < .01 for Anhedonia; and ß = -.461, p < .001 for Negative Self Esteem), except for social anxiety (ß = -.035, p = .717). The overall variance explained by attachment security ranged 4.6 to 21.3%. Results suggest that children, who perceive their mother as available and responsive in the situation of distress, are less prone to develop anxiety and depression. Small to middle effect size of the quality of attachment relationship indicates that attachment to mother is only one of the risk factors of internalizing behavior in middle chidlhood. Regression analysis revealed some gender-specific models according to the associations between attachment to mother and internalizing problems in boys and girls. In the sample of boys, negative mood and anhedony was not predicted by attachment to mother (ß = -.176, p > 0.05 and ß = -.194, p > 0.05, respectively), but in the sample of girls, secure attachment representation was a significant negative predictor of both depressive symptoms (ß = -.296, p < .05 for Negative Mood; and ß = -.285, p < .05 for Anhedony). Other models, except for social anxiety, were statistically significant for both samples. In the sample of girls, the predictor accounted for 26.3% of variance in Negative Self Esteem (ß = -.512; p < .001), 18.9% of variance of the total of depression symptoms (ß = -.435; p < .001), 10.9% of variance in Ineffectiveness (ß = -.331; p < .05) and 10.5% of variance in manifest anxiety (ß = -.324; p < .05). The results were similar for the sample of boys. Attachment security accounted for 17.4% of variance in Negative Self Esteem (ß = -.435; p < .001), 11.3% of variance of the total of depression symptoms (ß = -.377; p < .05) and 10.5% of variance in manifest anxiety (ß = -.332; p < .05). Representation of attachment relationship with mother accounted for less then 10% of variance when predicitng Negative Mood, Anhedony and Interpersonal Problems in both samples, and in addition Inefectiveness only in boys. Additional statistical analyses revealed that regression coefficients across models did not differ. Results suggest that mother is still a primary attachment figure in middle childhood for both, boys and girls, but the quality of attachment to father can also be an important factor of particular adaptive behavior, especially in boys. Because of lack of knowledge and empirical evidence, the future research in the field of gender-specific models of adjustment in middle childhood is needed. Discussion: When interpreting the results of this investigation, it is important to be aware of several limitations. The methodics used in the study are all based on the subjective self-report. The character of the assessment can lead to the tendency to react according to the social expectations. In future studies, it would be beneficial to gather reports about the internalizing problems from children as well as from significant others, and to use
multiple attachment assessment (e.g. the combination of questionnaires and projective techniques. Conclusion: We can conclude that attachment representation to mother is an important factor of adaptive development in middle childhood. Our results are in concordance with attachment theory and empirical evidence of associations between violated confidence of availability of attachment figure resulting in insecure attachment representation and maladjustment.
attachment representation, middle childhood, internalizing problems, anxiety, depression