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Biobehavioral Organization in Securely and Insecurely Attached Infants

G. Spangler and K. E. Grossmann
Child Development
Vol. 64, No. 5 (Oct., 1993), pp. 1439-1450
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Society for Research in Child Development
DOI: 10.2307/1131544
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1131544
Page Count: 12
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Biobehavioral Organization in Securely and Insecurely Attached Infants
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Abstract

Attachment research has shown the emergence of individual differences in the security of infant-mother attachment during the first year of life as well as their importance for later social-emotional development. A biobehavioral perspective may help settle disagreements about the validity and interpretation of 12-month-old infants' different behavioral patterns of attachment assessed by Ainsworth's Strange Situation. It was shown that, despite less overt distress in insecure-avoidant infants after short separations from the mother, overall cardiac measures indicate arousal patterns similar to the secure infants during separation. However, differences in cardiac response emerged with regard to object versus person orientation during reunion. Additionally, findings of increased cortisol in both insecure-avoidant and disorganized infants support the theoretical interpretation that these infants, in contrast to secure infants, lack an appropriate coping strategy.

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