Informations and abstract
Keywords: late adoption, attachment, emotional understanding.
To explore protective and risk factors in adoption adjustment on a sample of 30 previously institutionalised adopted children by investigating the correspondence between mother and childrens' pattern of attachment and children's emotional competence. Method: Six to nine months after adoption, the Adult Attachment Interview was administered to each mother. Twelve to 18 months after adoption, children's pattern of attachment was assessed using the Manchester Child Attachment Story Task; two years after adoption children's emotional understanding was tested by means of the Test of Emotion Comprehension. Results: A correspondence of 76,6% (k = 0,47) was found between mothers' secure-autonomous state of mind and children's secure attachment. Although adoptees showed impaired performance in emotion comprehension compared to normative data (t = -3,238, p ≤ 0,005), a correlation was found between impaired emotional competence and insecure (rpb = 0,46) and disorganized attachment (rpb = 0,44). Conclusion: Adoptive mothers' secure mental representation of attachment represents a protective factor for adopted children's attachment distribution. A secure and organised attachment pattern in late adopted children is associated with better emotional understanding.