A qualitative study of attachment relationships in ASD during middle childhood

Keenan, Belinda M., Newman, Louise K., Gray, Kylie M. and Rinehart, Nicole J. 2017, A qualitative study of attachment relationships in ASD during middle childhood, Attachment & human development, vol. 19, no. 1, pp. 1-21, doi: 10.1080/14616734.2016.1246580.

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Title A qualitative study of attachment relationships in ASD during middle childhood
Author(s) Keenan, Belinda M.
Newman, Louise K.
Gray, Kylie M.
Rinehart, Nicole J.ORCID iD for Rinehart, Nicole J. orcid.org/0000-0001-6109-3958
Journal name Attachment & human development
Volume number 19
Issue number 1
Start page 1
End page 21
Total pages 21
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Place of publication Abingdon, Eng.
Publication date 2017
ISSN 1461-6734
1469-2988
Keyword(s) Autism Spectrum Disorder
attachment
middle childhood
child–caregiver relationship
mentalisation
Summary Although research has indicated that children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) display normative attachment behaviours, to date there has been limited qualitative research exploring these relationships. This study aimed to describe qualitative features of the child-caregiver attachment relationship in children with ASD. Primary caregivers to 26 children with ASD (aged 7-14 years) and 23 typically developing children (aged 7-13 years) were administered the Disturbances of Attachment Interview (Smyke & Zeanah, 1999) to elicit descriptions of children's attachment behaviours. Thematic analysis of interview transcripts indicated that while children with ASD demonstrated a range of normative attachment behaviours, they displayed impairments in the use of the caregiver as a secure base and co-regulating agent. ASD-associated impairments in emotion processing, sharing/reciprocity, and emotion co-regulation, as well as the caregiver's experience, were important in understanding attachment relationships in ASD. Findings highlight the need to consider the bidirectional nature of the attachment relationship in ASD.
Language eng
DOI 10.1080/14616734.2016.1246580
Field of Research 179999 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences not elsewhere classified
1701 Psychology
1702 Cognitive Science
Socio Economic Objective 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2016, Informa UK
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30088607

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Psychology
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