As suggested by various studies (Barone and Lionetti 2011; Ongari and Tomasi 2013; Pace et al. 2015; Steele et al. 2008), a secure maternal attachment state of mind can represent a protective factor against adverse outcomes associated with emotional deprivation and trauma, confirming adoption as a potential catch-up opportunity. While attachment assessment allows to evaluate the internal representations of children and parents about their relationship, the observation of their interaction allows to focus on the dyadic quality of parent–child relationship (Sander 2007). Up to now, only a few studies have explored the quality of caregiver–child interaction in adoptive families (Garvin et al. 2012; Altenhofen et al. 2013; Van den Dries et al. 2012) and an even smaller number did so by involving the paternal figures. To deepen the understanding of the relational functioning of families with late-adopted children, the aim of this study was to evaluate both the concordance of attachment in adoptive dyads (mother–children and father–children) and the relationship between attachment representations and parent–child interaction. The sample was composed of 20 Italian adoptive families recruited through health services and authorized agencies for international adoptions. Children were aged between 4.5 and 8.5 years and the time spent in the adoptive family ranged from 1 to 3 years. Dyadic emotional availability was assessed through the Emotional Availability Scales (EAS), adult attachment through the Adult Attachment Interview (AAI) and children attachment through the Manchester Attachment Story Task (MCAST). Our results pointed out the presence of a relation between attachment representations of late-adopted children and their adoptive mothers (75%, K = 0.50, p = .025). In addition, we found that both insecure children and mothers showed lower levels of EA than secure ones. Some explanations are presented about why, in the early post-adoption period, child attachment patterns and dyadic emotional availability seem to be arranged on different frameworks for the two parental figures.

Late-Adoptions: Assessing Parent-Child Relationship Through Free-Play Interaction and Attachment Representations

Pace C. S.
2017

Abstract

As suggested by various studies (Barone and Lionetti 2011; Ongari and Tomasi 2013; Pace et al. 2015; Steele et al. 2008), a secure maternal attachment state of mind can represent a protective factor against adverse outcomes associated with emotional deprivation and trauma, confirming adoption as a potential catch-up opportunity. While attachment assessment allows to evaluate the internal representations of children and parents about their relationship, the observation of their interaction allows to focus on the dyadic quality of parent–child relationship (Sander 2007). Up to now, only a few studies have explored the quality of caregiver–child interaction in adoptive families (Garvin et al. 2012; Altenhofen et al. 2013; Van den Dries et al. 2012) and an even smaller number did so by involving the paternal figures. To deepen the understanding of the relational functioning of families with late-adopted children, the aim of this study was to evaluate both the concordance of attachment in adoptive dyads (mother–children and father–children) and the relationship between attachment representations and parent–child interaction. The sample was composed of 20 Italian adoptive families recruited through health services and authorized agencies for international adoptions. Children were aged between 4.5 and 8.5 years and the time spent in the adoptive family ranged from 1 to 3 years. Dyadic emotional availability was assessed through the Emotional Availability Scales (EAS), adult attachment through the Adult Attachment Interview (AAI) and children attachment through the Manchester Attachment Story Task (MCAST). Our results pointed out the presence of a relation between attachment representations of late-adopted children and their adoptive mothers (75%, K = 0.50, p = .025). In addition, we found that both insecure children and mothers showed lower levels of EA than secure ones. Some explanations are presented about why, in the early post-adoption period, child attachment patterns and dyadic emotional availability seem to be arranged on different frameworks for the two parental figures.
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11567/882607
 Attenzione

Attenzione! I dati visualizzati non sono stati sottoposti a validazione da parte dell'ateneo

Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus ND
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact