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Continuity of Adaptation in the Second Year: The Relationship between Quality of Attachment and Later Competence

Leah Matas, Richard A. Arend and L. Alan Sroufe
Child Development
Vol. 49, No. 3 (Sep., 1978), pp. 547-556
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Society for Research in Child Development
DOI: 10.2307/1128221
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1128221
Page Count: 10
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Continuity of Adaptation in the Second Year: The Relationship between Quality of Attachment and Later Competence
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Abstract

A perspective on continuity in development and adaptation was proposed and examined in light of data from the second year of life. Within this perspective it is assumed that despite discontinuous advances in developmental level and despite dramatic changes in the behavioral repertoire, there is continuity in the quality of individual adaptation. Such quality is assessed by examining the child's functioning with respect to issues salient for the particular developmental period. In this study the link between quality of attachment in infancy (the organization of attachment behavior) and quality of play and problem-solving behavior at age 2 years was examined in 48 infants. Based on completely independent assessments, infants assessed as securely attached at 18 months were predicted and found to be more enthusiastic, persistent, cooperative, and, in general, more effective than insecurely attached infants in the 2-year assessment. All measures were in the predicted direction; in some cases there was virtually no overlap between groups. The differences apparently were not due to development quotient (DQ) or temperament. The earlier infant behavior also predicted mother's behavior in the 2-year assessment. Implications for developmental theory and research are discussed.

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