[Early attachment experiences and behavioral problems in young children in a social and cognitive test situation].Prax Kinderpsychol Kinderpsychiatr. 1996 Mar-Apr; 45(3-4):95-102.PK
In this article, the influence of quality of attachment (Ainsworth Strange Situation at 21 months) and of the intensity of attachment insecurity on test performance and emotional state in the test situation (Bayley-test at 20 months) are analyzed. The quality of attachment of 75 infants was classified according to Crittenden's PAA (Preschool Assessment of Attachment) as: secure (B), insecure defended (A) and insecure-coercive (C). Alternately, the infants were classified according to their intensity of insecurity of attachment across subtypes of qualities (secure, insecure, highly insecure). Securely attached (B) infants had the best Bayley Mental scores, were socially open and bodily relaxed. The insecure-defended (A) infants had moderate test results, were moderately open and tense, whereas the insecure-coercive (C) infants showed not only the worst test-results but were often withdrawn, fearful, tense, and poorly coordinated. Additional clinical signs of disorganization were spread unspecifically over all attachment groups particularly those of the insecure children. In the classification of children according to intensity of insecurity, these signs of disorganization accumulated particularly in the group of highly insecure infants. Children with highly insecure attachment who also exhibited unusual test situation behavior also had the lowest Bayley-test scores in the Mental Scale. These results are interpreted in the sense of balance between test engagement and emotional cost.