Cultural Variations in Attachment


Van Ijzendoorn and Kroonenberg (1988)

- Looked at proportions of secure, insecure-avoidant and insecure-resistant attachments across a range of countries to assess cultural variation

- Located 32 studies of attachment which used Strange Situation

- These studies were conducted in 8 countries (15 conducted in US)

- Overall yielded results for 1,990 children

- Data was meta-analysed


- Secure attachment most common in all countries

- 75% secure attachment in Britain compared to 50% in China

- Rates of insecure-resistant attachment in individualistic cultures similar to Ainsworth's original sample (all under 14%)

- Rates not similar in collectivist cultures (China, Israel, Japan) to Ainsworth's original sample (above 25% for insecure-resistant and reduced rates for insecure-avoidant)

- Variation within countries 150% higher than between countries

Simonelli et al. (2014)

- Study in Italy to see if proportions of attachment types still matched previous studies

- 76 babies aged 12 months (assessed using Strange Situation)

- 50% secure, 36% insecure-avoidant

- Lower rate of secure attachment and higher rate of insecure-avoidant attachment than found in many previous studies

- Researchers suggested this was because increasing numbers of mothers of very young children work long hours and use professional childcare

- Findings suggest patterns of attachment types aren't static but vary in line with culateral change

Mi Kyoung et al. (2012)

- Compared proportions of attachment types in Korea to other countries

- 87 babies assessed with Strange Situation

- Overall proportions of insecure and secure babies similar to most countries

- Most babies


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