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Cross-Cultural Patterns of Attachment: A Meta-Analysis of the Strange Situation

Marinus H. van IJzendoorn and Pieter M. Kroonenberg
Child Development
Vol. 59, No. 1 (Feb., 1988), pp. 147-156
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Society for Research in Child Development
DOI: 10.2307/1130396
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1130396
Page Count: 10
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Cross-Cultural Patterns of Attachment: A Meta-Analysis of the Strange Situation
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Abstract

Cross-cultural research using Ainsworth's Strange Situation tends to rely on incomplete information and to concentrate on individual rather than aggregated samples. In this study, a wider perspective is taken by examining almost 2,000 Strange Situation classifications obtained in 8 different countries. Differences and similarities between distributions in classifications of samples are investigated using correspondence analysis. Aggregation of samples per country and continent allowed for a firmer empirical basis for cross-cultural analysis. Substantial intracultural differences were established; in a number of instances, samples from 1 country resembled those in other countries more than they did each other. The data also suggest a pattern of cross-cultural differences, in which A classifications emerge as relatively more prevalent in Western European countries and C classifications as relatively more frequent in Israel and Japan. Intracultural variation was nearly 1.5 times the cross-cultural variation.

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