God is nowhere, God is now here: Attachment activation, security of attachment, and God's perceived closeness among 5-7-year-old children
2007 (English)In: Attachment & Human Development, ISSN 1461-6734, E-ISSN 1469-2988, Vol. 9, no 1, 55-71 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
God's perceived closeness (GC) is greater when the attachment system is activated. This conclusion is based primarily on adult studies, but some findings suggest its validity also in childhood. Adult studies have shown GC to vary in relation to security of attachment, but child studies have been few and methodologically limited. In this study, we tested differences between securely and insecurely attached children on GC in attachment activating and neutral conditions, as well as whether parental religiousness acted as a moderator. Participants were forty 5-7-year-olds, from non-religious and Christian homes. The adapted Separation Anxiety Test was used to assess attachment. Participating children were told brief stories about visually represented children in different situations, and placed a God symbol on a felt board to represent GC to the fictional child. Results showed that GC was greater in attachment activating situations, particularly for secure children, supporting a hypothesis of internal working model correspondence between models of Self/Others and God. Although a religious type of home emerged as predictive of GC, no support was found for a moderating role of parental religiousness.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 9, no 1, 55-71 p.
attachment, religion, separation anxiety test, childhood, internal working model
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-145175DOI: 10.1080/14616730601151458ISI: 000245704300004PubMedID: 17364482OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-145175DiVA: diva2:395556