Although the role of mentalization has been extensively explored among clinical and normative adult samples, a lack of studies in middle childhood still exists (Bosmans & Kerns, 2015; Ensink et al., 2015). Following these considerations, the present study aims to explore the role of mentalization (operationalized as Reflective Functioning) as a mediator in the link between attachment coherence and psychological maladjustment, here considered as externalizing symptomatology. Child Attachment Interview (CAI; ShmueliGoetz, Target, Fonagy & Datta, 2008; Cavanna, Bizzi, San Martini & Castellano, 2018) was administered to 95 community children (M = 10.4 years, SD = 1.43 years) and then coded with the Child and Adolescent Reflective Functioning Scale (CRFS; Ensink, Target, Duval & Oandasan, 2015; measured as Self- and Other-focused mentalization). Child Behavior Checklist for Ages 6-18 (Achenbach, 2001) was also administered to children’s parents. Results showed that Self-focused mentalization, but not Other-focused mentalization, partially mediates the link between attachment coherence and externalizing symptomatology. Despite the preliminary nature of this study, our findings suggest the importance of considering the dimension of Self-focused mentalization (intended as the capability to recognize and to converse with own mental states) during middle-childhood as a dimension that could promote psychological adjustment. These considerations lead us to consider the need for specific interventions able to capture the specificity of the middle childhood period in which the attachment system changes from seeking proximity to the attachment figure to discovering external social relationships.
|Titolo:||"On the tracks of externalizing symptomatology: the role of attachment coherence and self-regulation " Proceedings XXI National Congress Italian Psychological Association, Clinical and Dynamic Section, Milan-27-29 September 2019, SYMPOSIUM SESSION|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2019|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01.05 - Abstract su rivista|