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Individual differences in children's undestanding of emotion: The roles of attachment and language

Journal Article


Abstract


  • There is accumulating evidence of a relationship between secure attachment and children's understanding of emotion (Fonagy & Target, 1997; Harris, 1999). The current experiment asked if this relationship is particularly evident when the test of emotion understanding includes attachment-related material or is equally marked on tests with and without attachment-related material. Children ranging from 3-6 years were given a novel test of emotion understanding (the Mother-Infant Separation Test Video) that incorporated provocative attachment themes and also an affectively neutral test of emotion understanding. They performed quite consistently on both types of test - either passing both or failing both. In addition, attachment security, measured concurrently by means of the Separation Anxiety Test, contributed to a correct performance on both tests. This contribution remained when other individual differences were controlled for (age, verbal mental age and gender). Possible explanations of the relationship between attachment and emotion understanding are discussed.

Publication Date


  • 2002

Citation


  • de Rosnay, M., & Harris, P. L. (2002). Individual differences in children's undestanding of emotion: The roles of attachment and language. Attachment and Human Development, 4(1), 39-54. doi:10.1080/14616730210123139

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-0036075664

Web Of Science Accession Number


Start Page


  • 39

End Page


  • 54

Volume


  • 4

Issue


  • 1

Abstract


  • There is accumulating evidence of a relationship between secure attachment and children's understanding of emotion (Fonagy & Target, 1997; Harris, 1999). The current experiment asked if this relationship is particularly evident when the test of emotion understanding includes attachment-related material or is equally marked on tests with and without attachment-related material. Children ranging from 3-6 years were given a novel test of emotion understanding (the Mother-Infant Separation Test Video) that incorporated provocative attachment themes and also an affectively neutral test of emotion understanding. They performed quite consistently on both types of test - either passing both or failing both. In addition, attachment security, measured concurrently by means of the Separation Anxiety Test, contributed to a correct performance on both tests. This contribution remained when other individual differences were controlled for (age, verbal mental age and gender). Possible explanations of the relationship between attachment and emotion understanding are discussed.

Publication Date


  • 2002

Citation


  • de Rosnay, M., & Harris, P. L. (2002). Individual differences in children's undestanding of emotion: The roles of attachment and language. Attachment and Human Development, 4(1), 39-54. doi:10.1080/14616730210123139

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-0036075664

Web Of Science Accession Number


Start Page


  • 39

End Page


  • 54

Volume


  • 4

Issue


  • 1