Informations and abstract
Keywords: attachment, late adoption, adoptive mother, IWM adopted children.
Recent researches on attachment and late-adoption have been conducted considering adoption as opportunity to build new and safer bonds of attachment, for children who often had suffered a wide range of negative experiences with their primary caregivers. Aim of this study is to examine the revision of the Internal Working Models (IWMs) of attachment of late-adopted children (4-7 years of age) and the impact on this revision exerted by the IWMs of their adoptive mothers. IWMs were assessed in children with a separation-reunion procedure and a completion story task, and in mothers with a semistructured interview. Participants were 40 dyads (28 adoptive and 12 biological). It was used a brief-longitudinal research design with the first data collection at the beginning of adoption and the second one after 7/8 months. Non parametric statistic tests were performed (p < 0,05) that are suitable for small sample size. Main findings showed that: a) late-adopted children changed their attachment behavioural patterns from insecurity to security, while the biological children were stable in their attachment classifications in the two steps; b) this revision occurred predominantly in children adopted by mothers with secure IWMs. Findings confirm that adoption could be considered as "a natural experiment" able to have a meaningful influence since it implies a change of children's insecure and/or disorganized IWMs.