Assessing internal working models of the attachment relationship

assessing internal working models of the attachment relationship

and stability of working models in adult relationships. They also identify 4 attachment relationships and felt security in adulthood. resentations, or internal working models, that consist of . which aspects are assessed (e.g., whether the. Rau, Douglas Richard, "Assessing working models of attachment using . the dynamics of intimate relationships using an object relational framework, .. procedure was used to insure the internal consistency of the attachment groupings. Abstract. The Attachment Multiple Model Interview (AMMI) was developed to assess internal working models (IWMs) of specific relationships in adulthood (e.g. .

Classification rubrics typically are developed using a priori intuitive extrapolation from other attachment measures or statistical composites based on summing rating dimensions Bretherton et al. A different approach uses classification criteria based on attachment-expert opinions of essential representational elements Miljkovitch et al. Some investigators also report the use of scales to augment or in lieu of classification e. Despite procedural differences, the validity of the doll play method is fairly well established.

Validity with other standard attachment measures e. Associations tend to be strongest for comparisons of secure versus insecure attachment groups, for security scales, and associations with attachment disorganization see Solomon and George, These procedures are reported to be valid for the use with children ages 3—12 years, although caution should be used when interpreting the doll play assessments of children under 4 years R. Marvin, personal communication, November, 8, It uses the same basic attachment story stems: The most important of these is the classification scheme.

Security is conceived in terms of the flexible integration of attachment-related thoughts and feelings, whereas strategies of defensive exclusion of information can be systematically brought into play as responses to anxiety regarding attachment figures. Depiction of uncontained frightening and catastrophic events, as well as persistent constriction refusal to playare the single most defining indices of dysregulation and attachment disorganization Solomon et al. Responses to other stories were more weakly associated with reunion classifications, suggesting that classification schemes that combine all story responses in an additive way are likely to introduce classification error Solomon and George, The ADPA offers some advantages over other doll play systems.

The concurrent validation for the four-group classification system that is the most prominent rubric to evaluate attachment patterns in the field provides confidence in the ADPA classification that is not available for other methods, such as the ASCT for example.

Most other methods assess doll play in terms of security score secure vs. The examination of doll play against parent reunion also clarified that classification is not an additive process, a finding that is consistent with attachment theory. Attachment is activated differently in different children. Children who are secure in the Strange Situation, for example, may look like avoidant children if only observed during the first reunion with their attachment figure Ainsworth et al.

In the same vein, we have noted the secure children, for example, develop stories in response to Hurt Knee or Monster in the Bedroom that would be associated with children with insecure classifications. Yet their Separation-Reunion sequence is the story material that fits their reunion with their mother Solomon and George, For example, some children demonstrate sturdy independence in response to the injured knee, and tell a story that would be evaluated as avoidant.

We also observed that separation stories do not differentiate among the stories of children in different attachment groups. Yet there are only three published studies using attachment doll play procedures that report on these associations. All of these studies are of French-speaking children. Two reports are from Moss et al. Dubois-Comtois and Moss and Dubois-Comtois et al.

Mother-child interaction and mother-child conversation were observed in two settings, 3 years earlier during snack time in the laboratory and concurrent assessment of family interaction. The results were similar for mother-child interaction at 5. The interactions of secure children were more coherent and reciprocal than the interactions of disorganized children, with patterns falling in the middle for avoidant and ambivalent-resistant children.

Logistic regression results showed that concurrent interaction family interaction was a more powerful predictor, however, than mother-child interaction at age 5.

assessing internal working models of the attachment relationship

The study goal was to examine associations between doll play representations and mother interaction. The study results showed significant associations between difficult and problematic mother-child interactions and disorganized attachment for the full-term children, but not for the preterm children.

Although these results are consistent with previous research on attachment disorganization, conclusions about the association between doll play assessments and mother-child interaction may be constrained by infant development Sameroff, and the age when the ACST was administered.

The Current Study This study is the first to examine the concurrent associations between the attachment doll play classifications and parenting. The first set of hypotheses pertained to the association between ADPA attachment classifications and mother-child interaction.

Interactions with dyads with secure children were expected to more balanced and harmonious than interaction in dyads with insecure children. Interaction in dyads with disorganized children was expected to be the least balanced and harmonious. Two other sets of hypotheses examined the role of maternal caregiving representations as related to both ADPA attachment classifications and mother-child interaction.

Caregiving system processes regulate representations of self, child, and evaluations of their relationship that are consolidated over time based on experiences with the child George and Solomon,; Solomon and George, Representations are conceived as reflecting mother-child interaction Solomon and George, ; George and Solomon, The evaluation of caregiving representation in this study is the same as was described for the ADPA.

By contrast, when defenses are dysregulated, caregiving is at least to some degree disabled and the caregiving-attachment relationship may be said to be dysregulated as well Solomon and George,a ; George and Solomon, In these cases, mothers are likely to be overwhelmed by their worst fears about self and child and report becoming flooded by feelings of being out of control, and vulnerable. In essence, these mothers are rendered helpless to care for and protect their children George and Solomon, Dysregulated-helplessness is the term, we use for this dimension of defensive processing George and Solomon, ; Solomon and George, a.

The mothers of children judged secure using the ADPA were expected to have significantly higher flexible integration ratings than mothers of insecure children; and mothers of disorganized-controlling children were expected to have significantly higher dysregulation-helplessness ratings than mothers of organized children secure, avoidant, ambivalent.

Similarly, flexibly integrated caregiving representation ratings were expected to be positively associated with balanced and harmonious mother-child interaction; and dysregulated-helpless caregiving representation ratings were expected to be inversely associated with balanced and harmonious interaction ratings, thus indicative of interaction problems. Materials and Methods Participants The participants were 69 mother-child dyads recruited through private and public kindergarten classrooms in the San Francisco Bay Area Solomon et al.

Families who were interested in participating returned the letter accompanied by contact information to classroom teachers. The researcher retrieved this information subsequently from the school and contacted families directly by telephone. The study was once again described, and mothers were provided an opportunity during that conversation to ask questions.

The only inclusion criteria for schools and classrooms were that they served typically developing children and were within a 15 mile radius of the playroom to make it feasible for dyads to participate without undue travel. Eight-one percent of the children were living with both parents, 4. Mothers were predominantly college educated The doll play is administered to each child individually. The adult interviewer asks the child to first select the doll to be the self and then select the other pretend family members from three sets of culturally diverse dolls Caucasian, African American, and Asian.

Each set includes a mother, father, female child, male child, and baby.

Internal working model of attachment - Wikipedia

The child is asked to put their pretend family in the house and play for 5 min as a warm up. They are never asked to select family members to represent real family members.

assessing internal working models of the attachment relationship

Further, there is no requirements for doll selections that fill actual family roles, such as selecting a parent doll. Children are free to select a self as represented by a child or adult doll. As a result, it is not unusual when given this choice in family member selection for children to create families that have no mother or father or to select adult dolls to be the self.

Internal working model of attachment

Indeed, these selection elements have been shown to be an index of attachment dysregulation and are prominent in children with disorganized attachments George and Solomon,Unpublished. The assessment is comprised of a set of story stems. The next story stems are: Hurt Knee, the child falls off of a high rock in the backyard and hurts their knee and can calls out to parents; Monster in the Bedroom, the parents tell the child to go to bed and the child cries out that there is a monster in the bedroom; Separation, the parents leave to go on an overnight trip and a babysitter stays with the children; and Reunion, the parents return the next day.

Children judged secure B demonstrate family or personal integration. Dangers or negative events e. Children judged avoidant A demonstrate defensive deactivation. Stories include themes that describe complete shifts in attention that neutralize reunion distress, such as blocking the separation or family members asleep on reunion. Characters act non-chalant and casual. Due to the relative immaturity of the infant at birth, offspring that manages to maintain a close relationship to their caregiver by seeking their proximity has a survival advantage.

These models, initially the product of specific experiences of reality, then aid future attention to and perception and interpretation of the world, which in turn creates certain expectations about possible future events, allowing foresightful and appropriate behaviour. Hence, having adequate representations of the self and caregivers serves an adaptive function. This overriding chronic goal is intimacy in preoccupied children, independence or self-protection in dismissive children, and in case of the fearful child, there is a conflicting chronic goal of achieving both intimacy and independence at the same time or an approach-avoidance conflict due to relative inflexibility in comparison to secure attachment.

The internal working model functions largely outside of conscious awareness. Those subconscious aspects might be especially important for the function of self-protection and serve as a defence mechanism in the face of contradicting models, where one of them operates within the subconscious to prevent a threat to the self. This is mostly the case for dismissive-avoidant attachment where conflicting ideas of the caregiver as both loving and neglecting cause the defence mechanism of downplaying the need for intimacy, not relying on the attachment figure, and emphasizing independence.

assessing internal working models of the attachment relationship

Thus, by the age of three years, infants will have developed several expectations about how attachment figures will react to their need for help and start to evaluate how likely the self is worth of support in general.

In adulthood, they hold a positive model of self and others, therefore, feeling comfortable with intimacy and autonomy. Consequently, they avoid intimate relationships. The third category is classified as the preoccupied model, indicating a combination of negative self-evaluation and the appreciation of others, which makes them overly dependent on their environment.