Abstract/Details

Attachment as a protective factor: An intra-family design


2004 2004

Other formats: Order a copy

Abstract (summary)

Research literature has indicated that attachment is often identified as the primary protective factor that allows a child to become resilient despite exposure to multiple risk factors. However, the existing body of research on attachment has made near universal use of inter-family research designs. In doing so, much of the existing research has failed to control for numerous variables that may influence the research's outcome(s). Therefore, the purpose of this research is twofold: First is to assess if attachment levels are significantly different in resilient individuals when compared to non-resilient siblings and, secondly, to accomplish this research through the use of an intra-family research design.

This particular study makes use of inmate populations in Minnesota and Wisconsin adult prisons who have met the research criteria for being non-resilient and their siblings who have met the research criteria for being resilient. Non-resilient/resilient siblings were differentiated by the variables of felony criminal record, chemical use and the completion of a traditional, community based high school diploma program. Additionally, sibling pairs were matched along a number of biological and demographic criteria. Ultimately 55 sibling pairs were identified as meeting the research criteria and who also volunteered to serve as the research population.

Once identified, all research subjects completed a series of standardized questionnaires regarding substance use and 4 scales regarding their early childhood attachment experiences. Attachment was measured with regard to mothers, fathers, best friends and other adults.

Data analyses revealed that resilient siblings had significantly more attachment figures in their childhood and that they also had significantly higher levels of attachment to these attachment figures when compared to their non-resilient siblings. These findings supplement existing research on the role played by attachment figures as well as beginning to fill the gap created by inter-family research designs.

These results have numerous implications for both social work practice and policy. Social workers must be mindful about the needs of at risk children. However, being mindful must also include a willingness to advocate for social work practice models and policies that support and augment a child's need for positive early childhood attachment experiences.

Indexing (details)


Subject
Social work;
Families & family life;
Personal relationships;
Sociology
Classification
0452: Social work
0628: Families & family life
0628: Personal relationships
0628: Sociology
Identifier / keyword
Social sciences; Attachment; Family; Protective factor; Resilience; Siblings
Title
Attachment as a protective factor: An intra-family design
Author
Stacy, Peter David
Number of pages
152
Publication year
2004
Degree date
2004
School code
0130
Source
DAI-A 65/11, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
ISBN
9780496145898, 0496145894
Advisor
Hollister, C. David
University/institution
University of Minnesota
University location
United States -- Minnesota
Degree
Ph.D.
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Language
English
Document type
Dissertation/Thesis
Dissertation/thesis number
3154083
ProQuest document ID
305161856
Copyright
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
http://search.proquest.com/docview/305161856
Access the complete full text

You can get the full text of this document if it is part of your institution's ProQuest subscription.

Try one of the following:

  • Connect to ProQuest through your library network and search for the document from there.
  • Request the document from your library.
  • Go to the ProQuest login page and enter a ProQuest or My Research username / password.