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Evaluating the use of attachment measures to understand the quality of children's attachment relationships and networks

Evaluating the use of attachment measures to understand the quality of children's attachment relationships and networks
Evaluating the use of attachment measures to understand the quality of children's attachment relationships and networks
There is an increased focus on attachment and its impact on educational outcomes in recent literature. In order to promote effective practices in educational psychology, it is important that research is able to assess children’s attachment networks easily and reliably. To understand what measures are available, reliable and usable across primary aged children (6–12 years), a systematic review of the literature was conducted. Measures elicited from papers were grouped by the underlying constructs they assessed: attachment patterns, quality of attachment relationships and attachment networks, and the assessment method used: representational and behavioural, and self-report. Validity and reliability of measures was good, but limited measures existed that assessed attachment networks, and which could be used over a large age range. To determine whether a Hierarchical Mapping Technique (HMT) was a useful way of assessing attachment networks in primary aged children, 93 children aged 9–10 years completed the HMT and a self-report measure of attachment anxiety and avoidance. Children also completed an attachment figure interview which rated hierarchical preferences of attachment network members for attachment and companionship questions. Results revealed the HMT was a quick and easy way of mapping attachment networks in children. Boys had fewer network members and placed their network members closer to the core-self than girls. An anxious father-child relationship predicted the placement of fathers further away from the core self. Mothers and grandparents who were placed closer to the core self were also more likely to be nominated to fulfil attachment needs. Very few children placed teachers within networks. Implications for educational psychology and future research are discussed.
Picksley, Patience Alice
30e9ebc6-841f-41c4-93eb-1f04eef0371a
Picksley, Patience Alice
30e9ebc6-841f-41c4-93eb-1f04eef0371a
Carnelley, Katherine
02a55020-a0bc-480e-a0ff-c8fe56ee9c36

Picksley, Patience Alice (2014) Evaluating the use of attachment measures to understand the quality of children's attachment relationships and networks. University of Southampton, Psychology, Doctoral Thesis, 110pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

There is an increased focus on attachment and its impact on educational outcomes in recent literature. In order to promote effective practices in educational psychology, it is important that research is able to assess children’s attachment networks easily and reliably. To understand what measures are available, reliable and usable across primary aged children (6–12 years), a systematic review of the literature was conducted. Measures elicited from papers were grouped by the underlying constructs they assessed: attachment patterns, quality of attachment relationships and attachment networks, and the assessment method used: representational and behavioural, and self-report. Validity and reliability of measures was good, but limited measures existed that assessed attachment networks, and which could be used over a large age range. To determine whether a Hierarchical Mapping Technique (HMT) was a useful way of assessing attachment networks in primary aged children, 93 children aged 9–10 years completed the HMT and a self-report measure of attachment anxiety and avoidance. Children also completed an attachment figure interview which rated hierarchical preferences of attachment network members for attachment and companionship questions. Results revealed the HMT was a quick and easy way of mapping attachment networks in children. Boys had fewer network members and placed their network members closer to the core-self than girls. An anxious father-child relationship predicted the placement of fathers further away from the core self. Mothers and grandparents who were placed closer to the core self were also more likely to be nominated to fulfil attachment needs. Very few children placed teachers within networks. Implications for educational psychology and future research are discussed.

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Published date: August 2014
Organisations: University of Southampton, Psychology

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Local EPrints ID: 370402
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/370402
PURE UUID: 4aa38744-69ab-4202-b67e-19d39127d1c3

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Date deposited: 27 Oct 2014 15:22
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 21:51

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