Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

Attachment security and indiscriminately friendly behavior in children adopted from Romanian orphanages

  • Kim Chisholm (a1), Margaret C. Carter (a1), Elinor W. Ames (a1) and Sara J. Morison (a1)

Attachment security was assessed in children who had spent at least 8 months in a Romanian orphanage (RO) and two comparison groups of children: a Canadian-born, nonadopted comparison group (CB) and a comparison group adopted from Romania before the age of 4 months (RC). We also assessed differences in displays of indiscriminately friendly behavior between the two adopted groups of children. Attachment security was assessed using parent report on a questionnaire comprised of the 23 items with the highest and lowest loadings on the Waters and Deane (1985) attachment Q-sort. Indiscriminately friendly behavior was assessed using parents' responses to five questions about their children's behavior with new adults. Children's attachment security scores were also compared to parents' scores on the parent attachment subscale of the Parenting Stress Index (Abidin, 1990). RO children scored significantly lower on security of attachment than did either the RC or CB children. RC and CB children did not differ on attachment security. Based on their parents' reports, RO children displayed significantly more indiscriminately friendly behaviors than did RC children, but such behaviors were not correlated with security of attachment. Children's attachment security scores were related to their parents attachment scores only in the RO group. It is suggested that RO children's experience of extreme neglect contributed to their low attachment-security scores, and that indiscriminate friendliness may be an important behavior to consider in the study of attachment in institutionalized children.

Corresponding author
Kim Chisholm, Department of Psychology, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby B.C., CanadaV5A 1S6.
Hide All
E. Bermack (1989). Effect of telephone and face-to-face communication on rated extent of self-disclosure by female college students. Psychological Reports, 65, 259267.

B. R. Blishcn , W. K. Carroll , & C. Moore (1987). The 1981 socioeconomic index for occupations in Canada. Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology, 24, 465487.

J. Cassidy , & L. J. Berlin (1994). The insecure/ambivalent pattern of attachment: Theory and research. Child Development. 65, 971991.

P. Crittenden (1985). Maltreated infants: Vulnerability and resilience. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 26, 8596.

W. Goldfarb (1945b). Effects of psychological deprivation in infancy and subsequent stimulation. American Journal of Psychiatry, 102, 1833.

J. Siemiatycki (1979). A comparison of mail, telephone, and home interview strategies for household health surveys. American Journal of Public Health, 69 (1), 238245.

L. M. Singer , D. M. Brodzinsky , D. Ramsay , M. Steir , & E. Waters (1985). Mother-infant attachment in adoptive families. Child Development, 56 (6), 15431551.

B. Tizard , & J. Hodges (1978). The effect of early institutional rearing on the development of eight-year-old children. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 19, 99118.

B. Tizard , & J. Rees (1974). A comparison of the effects of adoption, restoration to the natural mother, and continued institutionalization on the cognitive development of four-year-old children. Child Development, 45, 9299.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Development and Psychopathology
  • ISSN: 0954-5794
  • EISSN: 1469-2198
  • URL: /core/journals/development-and-psychopathology
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Abstract views

Total abstract views: 1043 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 18th October 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.