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Child Dev. 1998 Apr;69(2):427-42.

Perceptions of emotional support from mother and friend in middle childhood: links with social-emotional adaptation and preschool attachment security.

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  • 1University of Washington, Seattle 98195-7920, USA.


Children's (N = 58) perceptions of emotional support from mother and best friend were assessed at age 8. Perceptions of support from mother were predicted by attachment security at age 4, suggesting continuity in the children's internal working model of self in relation to mother. Preschool attachment security predicted age 8 perceptions of maternal support better than the mother's actual behavior at age 8. Identification of the best friend as a member of one's emotional support network was not related to security, but was positively related to social competence. However, among insecurely attached children, the greater the reliance on the best friend for emotional support, the greater the externalizing problems. Compensatory effects of best friend support on the social-emotional adaptation of insecurely attached children were not found.

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