Attachment the Italian way: In search of specific patterns of infant and adult attachments in Italian typical and atypical samples

Rosalinda Cassibba, Giovanna Sette, Marian J. Bakermans-Kranenburg, Marinus H. Van Ijzendoorn

Research output: Contribution to JournalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

In the present meta-analysis 627 Strange Situation Procedures (SSP; Ainsworth, Blehar, Waters, & Wall, 1978) from 17 Italian infant attachment studies and 2, 258 Adult Attachment Interviews (AAI; Main, Kaplan, & Cassidy, 1985) from 50 Italian adult attachment studies were included. All studies were published between 1990 and 2009. Our aim was to test the universality hypothesis of attachment theory in this Italian database. Results indicated that the majority of nonclinical Italian infants were classified as securely attached (53%); similarly, the majority of nonclinical Italian adults were secure (60%). Although cross-cultural similarities provide evidence for the universality hypothesis of attachment theory, our meta-analysis revealed also interesting cultural specificities. First, nonclinical Italian infants' distribution showed an overrepresentation of avoidant attachments compared to the normative distribution. Second, the underrepresentation of unresolved loss among Italian nonclinical adults was noteworthy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-58
Number of pages12
JournalEuropean Psychologist
Volume18
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 May 2013
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Adult attachment interview
  • Italian cultural specificities
  • Meta-analysis
  • Strange situation

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