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Psychol Rep. 1997 Apr;80(2):531-43.

Intervention in transmission of insecure attachment: a case study.

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Center for Child and Family Studies, Leiden University, The Netherlands.


Several attachment-based intervention studies have been performed, with varying success. An important question is whether short-term interventions can be successful in promoting parental sensitivity and security of infant-parent attachment as well as in changing parental representations of attachment. We investigated this issue in an exploratory way in a case study. A short-term home-based intervention with written material and video feedback, which was effective regarding parental sensitivity and infant security in a former study, was provided a parent who revealed an insecure attachment representation in the Adult Attachment Interview. The intervention sessions were expanded with discussions about past and present experiences of attachment. After four intervention sessions the mother's behavior towards her child was rated as more sensitive than before the intervention. Also, the infant-mother attachment, as observed in the Strange Situation, appeared to be more secure. Nevertheless, in a second Adult Attachment Interview administered after the intervention, the mother showed again an insecure representation of attachment. Possible implications of these results are discussed.

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