Alessandra Simonelli, Mahesh Casiraghi, Laura Semper

Attachment in school and school age children: A new procedure of assessment derived from ASCT stems

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Keywords: preschool attachment, methods of assessment, attachment story completion task, security scale internal working models.

The assessment of relational information from early attachment IWM shows some problems concerning the procedure's suitability to assess and rate «measurable» expressions of the construct, in terms of explicit and observable behaviours. This paper suggests a multimedia version of Attachment Story Completion Task (ASCT, Bretherton et al., 1990), deeply revised in administration structure and rating criteria. Procedures were administered to 56 subjects belonging to central region of the North of Italy, from 5 to 7 (M = 6.18; SD = 0.74). Analyses showed good properties of interrater reliability and internal consistency among the scales. Two ways ANOVA showed the independence of measures from gender and a age. Scales correlations, factor analyses and convergent validity against Security Scale (Kerns et al., 1996) showed the coherence of measures with hypotheses and theory. A group of 14 maltreated/abused children belonging to child residential care, from 4 to 8 (M = 6.43; SD = 1.28) was also assessed in order to investigate stems capability to discern clinical population. Descriptive factor analyses defined 4 factors, matching with attachment classifications of Security, Insecurity, Withdrawn Avoidance and even less clearly on a fourth factor centred on typical aspects ambivalent category.

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