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The Contribution of Middle Childhood Attachment to Social Functioning in Young Adulthood
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Stockholm University.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Keyword [en]
social anxiety, loneliness, prosocial orientation, social initiative taking, Separation anxiety test
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-221867OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-221867DiVA: diva2:711985
Available from: 2014-04-11 Created: 2014-04-04 Last updated: 2014-07-25
In thesis
1. Attachment and the Development of Personality and Social Functioning
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Attachment and the Development of Personality and Social Functioning
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

According to attachment theory, the establishment of an attachment bond to a caregiver not only provides the infant with protection from danger, but also many other resources presumably beneficial to the child’s general psychological development. Although there is substantial empirical support for a link between attachment security and social functioning in childhood and adolescence, less is known about whether childhood attachment contributes to social functioning beyond adolescence. Similarly, attachment has been found predictive of broad aspects of a person’s functioning, but few attempts have been made to link attachment to the currently dominating perspective on personality, the Five Factor Model (FFM). Results in Study I partially supported our expectations, by showing prospective links from middle childhood security to various aspects of social functioning in young adulthood. Further, security contributed to developmental change in social functioning from middle childhood to young adulthood. In Study II, middle childhood security was found to predict some of the FFM personality traits (primarily extraversion and openness) concurrently and prospectively, partially supporting our expectations. The third aim of this thesis was to address whether attachment disorganization, which has usually been found predictive of maladaptive phenomena, may predict also other, non-pathological outcomes. In Study II, we found that higher levels of disorganization in young adulthood were concurrently associated with more openness and lower conscientiousness. Furthermore, in Study III disorganization was shown to be concurrently associated with more New Age spirituality and more absorption in adulthood. In addition, absorption was, in accordance with our expectations, found to statistically mediate the link between disorganization and New Age spirituality. Hence, these findings supported our assumption that disorganization might be expressed in other life domains besides specifically maladaptive ones. Taken together, we suggest that attachment spreads its influence to a broad set of life domains through its continuous influence on general psychological components such as cognitive representations and self-regulation abilities. However, the modest strength of our results indicates that attachment is only one among several factors involved in the development of social functioning, personality traits, and spirituality.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2014. 79 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Social Sciences, ISSN 1652-9030 ; 98
Keyword
Social anxiety, loneliness, social competence, Adult Attachment Interview, Separation Anxiety Test, Five Factor Model, absorption, spirituality
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-221869 (URN)978-91-554-8980-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-06-04, Universitetshuset Sal IV, Biskopsgatan 3, Uppsala, 13:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2014-05-14 Created: 2014-04-04 Last updated: 2014-07-25

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