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Quality of attachment in the preschool years

  • Patricia M. Crittenden (a1)

This is a theoretical paper about differences in quality of attachment in preschool-aged children with emphasis on the development of the goal-corrected partnership. Inferences are made about the processes underlying preschoolers' attachment behavior. Specifically, the notion of quality of attachment is expanded to explicitly include strategy, regulation of affect, negotiation, secure base behavior, and response to maternal behavior. The classificatory system is expanded by adding two additional defended patterns, that is, compulsive caregiving and compulsive compliance, to the infant avoidant pattern. Furthermore, at the preschool age, the infant ambivalent pattern is identified as having a coercive strategy. In addition, the disorganized infant category is reconceptualized in terms of complex organization, reorganization, and disorganization. Finally, the process of generating new theories and hypotheses through a “participant observer” methodology is considered from the perspective of developmental psychopathology.

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Development and Psychopathology
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