Attachment to mothers and fathers during middle childhood: en evidence from Polish sample

Anna Kamza


Background: Middle childhood is a significant period of change both for a child's cognition and social functioning. Considering that the primary developmental theme of attachment in middle childhood is the balance between child's growing autonomy and the constant need of relatedness, cultural differences in developmental trends in the attachment might be considered as a function of individualism and collectivism orientations. However, little is known about whether the findings on predictors of individual differences in the attachment in middle childhood found in Western cultures, hold within the non-Western ones. Moreover, still little is known about differences between attachment to mothers and fathers in middle childhood. Hence, one goal of the present study was to investigate the role of a child's age, sex, and emotionality in a middle-childhood attachment to mothers and fathers in the Polish sample. The second aim was to compare obtained results to the attachment research that focused on Western cultures. Methods: The sample consisted of 132 children aged 8-12 years (51% boys). They completed the Kern's Security Scale and the Coping Strategies Questionnaire. Mothers completed a child's EAS-C and short sociodemographic questionnaire. Pearson's correlations were conducted to test relationships between a child's age, sex, emotionality, SES, and attachment-related variables. A paired-samples t-test was used to compare the intensity of preoccupied and avoidant coping strategies with parents in the whole sample. The effects of a child's age, sex, temperament, and attachment figure were tested with separate repeated-measures ANOVA. Results: Some of the results replicated prior studies conducted in Western cultures. Similarly to the individualistic cultures, older Polish children reported less preoccupied and more avoidant coping strategies with their parents than younger children. Second, older girls reported higher felt-security with their fathers than with mothers, which suggests some significant changes in attachment relationships regarding the child's sex. However, as opposed to Western cultures, there were no links between the child's sex and preoccupied and avoidant coping. Polish children also reported higher rates of preoccupied coping than the avoidant one. Finally, children with relatively lower emotionality reported higher attachment security with both parents than children with relatively higher emotionality. Conclusions: The current study extends previous work on attachment in middle childhood, the area of rather sparse research, as compared to other developmental periods. The findings reveal the existence of both some specificity in the middle-child attachment in the Polish sample, as well as some culture-universal developmental trends. However, as many questions remain unanswered, they also highlight the strong need for future cross-cultural and comparative studies.
Author Anna Kamza (Wydział Psychologii i Prawa w Poznaniu)
Anna Kamza,,
- Wydział Psychologii i Prawa w Poznaniu
Journal seriesBMC Psychology, ISSN , e-ISSN 2050-7283, (N/A 70 pkt)
Issue year2019
Publication size in sheets0.85
Article number79
Keywords in EnglishAttachment, Security, Avoidant coping, Preoccupied coping, Middle childhood
ASJC Classification2700 General Medicine; 3200 General Psychology
Languageen angielski
Kamza BMC paper.pdf 1.01 MB
Anna Kamza, Oświadczenie o publikacji.pdf 1.22 MB
Score (nominal)70
Score sourcejournalList
Publication indicators Scopus SNIP (Source Normalised Impact per Paper): 2018 = 1.121
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