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Child Dev. 2012 Mar-Apr;83(2):591-610. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2011.01711.x. Epub 2012 Jan 11.

The significance of insecure and disorganized attachment for children's internalizing symptoms: a meta-analytic study.

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1
Department, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 603 E. Daniel Street, Champaign, IL 61820, USA. amgroh2@illinois.edu

Abstract

This meta-analytic review examines the association between attachment and internalizing symptomatology during childhood, and compares the strength of this association with that for externalizing symptomatology. Based on 42 independent samples (N = 4,614), the association between insecurity and internalizing symptoms was small, yet significant (d = 0.15, CI 0.06~0.25) and not moderated by assessment age of internalizing problems. Avoidance, but not resistance (d = 0.03, CI -0.11~0.17) or disorganization (d = 0.08, CI -0.06~0.22), was significantly associated with internalizing symptoms (d = 0.17, CI 0.03~0.31). Insecurity and disorganization were more strongly associated with externalizing than internalizing symptoms. Discussion focuses on the significance of attachment for the development of internalizing versus externalizing symptomatology.

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