Previous research found a relation between attachment insecurity and negative behavioural outcomes as well as physiological processes. This study further investigated these relations by examining whether insecure attachment is linked to markers of chronic stress, e.g. telomere length and cortisol in hair, and whether self-regulation skills play a moderating or mediating role in this relation. In an ongoing longitudinal study on healthy children (N=193), attachment style was measured by the Strange Situation Procedure at age 1, and self-regulations skills were assessed by behavioural tests at age 2.5 years and age 6 years. Hair cortisol and telomere length were assessed at age 10. Structural equation models showed that – contrary to expectations - securely attached children had significantly shorter telomeres compared to insecurely attached children. Attachment insecurity was not significantly associated to hair cortisol concentrations. Self-regulation skills did not mediate the association between attachment style and telomere length or hair cortisol. A model with self-regulation skills as moderator could not be fitted. Future research should attempt to replicate these findings and study possible mechanisms underlying the link between secure attachment style and shorter telomere length.
|Publication status||Unpublished - 2019|
|Event||Dutch Neuroscience Meeting - Lunteren, Netherlands|
Duration: 20 Jun 2019 → 21 Jun 2019
|Conference||Dutch Neuroscience Meeting|
|Period||20/06/19 → 21/06/19|
- hair cortisol
- Inhibitory control