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Dev Psychol. 2007 Nov;43(6):1553-67.

Mothers' attachment status as determined by the Adult Attachment Interview predicts their 6-year-olds' reunion responses: a study conducted in Japan.

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Department of Human Development and Family Studies, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409, USA.


Following a 1986 study reporting a predominance of ambivalent attachment among insecure Sapporo infants, the generalizability of attachment theory and methodologies to Japanese samples has been questioned. In this 2nd study of Sapporo mother-child dyads (N=43), the authors examined attachment distributions for both (a) child, based on M. Main and J. Cassidy's (1988) 6th-year reunion, and (b) adult, via the Adult Attachment Interview (AAI). In contrast to the previous Sapporo study, children's 3-way or "organized" distribution did not differ from the global distribution. However, when the disorganized-controlling (D) and cannot classify (CC) categories were applied to the analyses, a high proportion of D/CC children was found. Comparable analyses for Japanese mothers, including the unresolved/disorganized (U) and CC categories, were found to deviate slightly from the global norm. However, turning from global distributions to mothers' AAI classification as related to their child's reunion classification, all matches were surprisingly close to those established worldwide. When, as is customary, mothers' U and CC classifications were combined (U/CC) and compared with the child's D and CC classifications (also customarily combined as D/CC), mothers' U/CC status strongly predicted child D/CC status (r=.60, d=1.50). Additionally, mothers' AAI subclassifications predicted child subclassifications.

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