Stability and change of attachment at 14, 24, and 58 months of age: behavior, representation, and life events.J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2000 Mar; 41(3):381-8.JC
Stability and change of attachment was examined longitudinally in a group of 48 children at 14, 24, and 58 months of age. Whereas attachment classifications showed stability between 14 and 24 months, lack of stability was the case between either 14 or 24 months and 58 months. Mothers of children who did not exhibit stability of attachment reported more negative and less positive life events. No correspondence was found between attachment classification at 14 or 24 months and mental representations at 58 months. However there was agreement between representational and behavioral measures of attachment at 58 months, where mental representations of attachment appeared to mirror and complement behavioral classification of the attachment relationship with the mother. Evidence for continuity of attachment from infancy to childhood internal representations was found only in a subgroup of children who showed stability of secure attachment between infancy and 58 months of age. These children exhibited greater Emotional Openness in the SAT at 4.5 years. Findings are discussed in terms of different positions in attachment theory and research regarding the stability and change of attachment relationships.