S. De Winter
- Exploring the causal effect of interpretation bias on attachment expectations
- Child Development
- Volume | Issue number
- 88 | 1
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
Attachment theory implies that children's inclination to interpret attachment figures behavior as supportive and available causally influences children's trust in their attachment figure's availability. An experiment was conducted to test whether training children (8–12 years old) to interpret ambiguous interactions with their mothers in a more secure way increases their trust in their mother's availability. Participants (N = 49) were randomly assigned to either a secure condition to train children to interpret their mother's behavior as supportive or a neutral placebo condition, where interpretations were unrelated to maternal support. Results supported the hypothesis: After the secure training, children interpreted maternal behavior more securely and trusted more in her availability. This suggests that attachment-related processing biases causally affect attachment expectations.
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