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Attachment and Externalizing Behaviors

The Relationship Between Attachment and Externalizing Behaviors in


Normative versus High-Risk Samples
Emilie A !aczkowski
"istinguished #a$ors !rogram
%niversit& o' (irginia
Advisor) N "ickon Reppucci
Second Reader) *oseph ! Allen
Running head) ATTA+H#ENT AN" E,TERNA-./.N0 BEHA(.1RS
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Attachment and Externalizing Behaviors
A3stract
This stud& examined how gender and sample t&pe a''ect associations 3etween attachment and
externalizing 3ehaviors Normative participants 456 male and 75 'emale8 mean age 29:;< and
high-risk participants 42== male and 2>; 'emale8 mean age 29?9< completed the Adolescent
Attachment .nterview and @amil& Attachment .nterviewA respectivel& The Bouth Sel'-Report
4BSR< measured externalizing 3ehaviors .nsecure attachment st&les and externalizing 3ehaviors
were more common among high-risk participantsA 3ut no gender di''erences were 'ound on these
measures Secure participants exhi3ited lower externalizing 3ehaviors overall and within 3oth
males and 'emales +on'irmator& 'actor anal&tic techniCues provided support 'or measurement
invariance across normative and high-risk samples on BSR externalizing su3scales Dhile no
relationship was 'ound 3etween attachment securit& and externalizing 3ehavior in the high risk
sample o' &outhA structural modeling techniCues indicated the presence o' this relationship within
the normative sample
:
Attachment and Externalizing Behaviors
The Relationship Between Attachment and Externalizing Behaviors in
Normative versus High-Risk Samples
Externalizing 3ehavior pro3lems are the single most common reason 'or which &oung
children are re'erred 'or ps&chological treatment 4RichmanA 275;< Severe externalizing
3ehaviorsA such as aggression and attention pro3lems that arise in earl& childhood are likel& to
endure into later childhood and adolescence 4+amp3ellA 277;< Additionall&A man& &ouths
3ecome involved in some t&pe o' delinCuent externalizing 3ehavior over the course o'
adolescence 4#o''ittA 277?< at great cost to the individuals involvedA as well as to the
communit& Although the precise etiolog& o' these 3ehaviors is unknownA it is certain that these
pro3lems do not develop in a vacuum RatherA child and adolescent development is in'luenced
3& multiple contextsA one o' the most salient o' which is the 'amil& Since its inceptionA
attachment theor& 4Bowl3&A 27=7E275:< has served as a use'ul lens through which to examine
the in'luence o' 'amil& 'actors on development in childhood andA more recentl&A adolescence
Though previous research has investigated relationships 3etween externalizing 3ehaviors
and attachment st&leA 'ew studies have examined the wa& these relationships ma& 'unction
di''erentl& across groups .n particularA researchers have not grappled with the Cuestion o'
whether the relationship 3etween attachment st&le and the development o' externalizing
3ehaviors changes 'orm a'ter a certain threshold Speci'icall&A the Cuestion o' whether the
relationship 3etween attachment st&le and externalizing 3ehaviors di''ers across normative and
high-risk groups o' adolescents has not 3een addressed .n additionA there is a growing 3od& o'
literature suggesting that 'indings 3ased on normative versus clinicalE'orensic studies o' girls
externalizing 3ehaviors are inconsistent The goal o' the present stud&A there'oreA is to examine
the nature and the 'unction o' the relationship 3etween attachment st&les and levels o'
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Attachment and Externalizing Behaviors
externalizing 3ehaviors across 3oth group and gender This o3$ective will 3e accomplished
through secondar& data anal&sis The value o' this approach lies in the a3ilit& to integrate
existing data3ases to 'ill an essential void in attachment research Dith the advantage o' having
access to 3oth normative and high-risk samples o' adolescent males and 'emalesA the present
stud& will 3uild on previous research 3& testing 'or invariant relationships across samples and
gender This research will also extend attachment literature that has dealt extensivel& with
children 3ut has onl& recentl& 3egun to examine these issues in adolescence
The review o' the literature 3egins with an overview o' attachment theor&A including a
discussion o' the assessment o' attachment in adolescence as it relates to the classi'ication
scheme used in the present stud& Externalizing 3ehavior is then addressed with a 'ocus on the
measurement o' the 3ehaviors o' interestA aggressionA delinCuenc&A and attention pro3lems
NextA research examining each o' these constructs 'rom the perspective o' attachment theor& is
reviewed "i''erences in attachment st&le and levels o' externalizing 3ehaviors in males versus
'emales and normative versus high-risk samples are then explored with regard to how these
di''erences will drive the current research Cuestions
Attachment Theory
Bowl3&Fs 427=7E275:< in'luential work in attachment theor& was derived largel& 'rom
ethological studies o' animal 3ehavior He claimed that attachment is an instinctual s&stem that
operates to maintain proximit& to the motherA contri3uting to the survival o' the individual or the
species Attachment 3ehavior encompasses the actions a child takes to maintain proximit& to the
attachment 'igure Stress'ul situations that constitute a threat to the individual activate the
attachment s&stem and elicit attachment 3ehavior 4RiceA 277>< +icchettiA +ummingsA
0reen3ergA and #arvin 4277>< ela3orated on these aspects o' attachmentA de'ining its three
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Attachment and Externalizing Behaviors
Gessential 'eatures)H 2< its functionA protecting children 'rom dangerA :< its outcomeA regulating
proximit& to the attachment 'igureA and ?< its set goalA esta3lishing a state o' securit&
AinsworthA BleharA DatersA and Dall 42765< descri3ed the Cualit& or securit& o' attachment
relationships as dependent on the attachment 'igureFs responsiveness +hildren whose caretakers
respond relia3l& and appropriatel& to their attachment 3ehavior are generall& securel& attachedA
whereas those whose caretakers are unresponsive or unrelia3l& responsive are generall&
insecurel& attached .n addition to appropriate response in times o' distressA parents o' securel&
attached children have also 3een 'ound to 'acilitate their childrenFs independent exploration
4AinsworthA 2757<
Ainsworth et al 42765< developed a classi'ication s&stem 'or attachment in in'anc& that
categorized children as avoidantA secureA or am3ivalent An avoidant child is characterized 3& a
lack o' exploration 3e'ore separation 'rom the attachment 'igure and the tendenc& to ignore the
mother when the& are reunited +hildren who are classi'ied as securel& attached willingl&
explore when under minimal stress and seek contact when the& experience distress .t is 3elieved
that the secure child is a3le to derive com'ort 'rom this contact and is then a3le to return to pla&
An am3ivalent child engages in little exploration and seeks closeness to the attachment 'igure
when experiencing minimal stress prior to separation %pon reunion the child remains unsettled
and will seek and resist contact with the attachment 'igure
Attachment relations are 3elieved to persist even when attachment 'igures are not present
Ainsworth 427=7< and Bowl3& 427=7E275:< have 3oth noted this dura3ilit& o' attachment
relations and have theorized that it results 'rom the 'ormation o' what Ainsworth 427=7< re'erred
to as Gintra-organismic structuresAH and what Bowl3& 427=7E275:< re'erred to as Ginternal
working modelsH Bowl3& contended that a child internalizes representations o' the attachment
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Attachment and Externalizing Behaviors
'igure and hisEher relationship with the attachment 'igure The cognitive structures derived 'rom
these representations are h&pothesized to allow individuals to understand and anticipate what
occurs in the world around them and to assimilate in'ormation relevant to themselves and their
relationships with others
Defining and measuring attachment beyond infancy. Ainsworth and Bowl3& contended
that the internal working models developed in in'anc& maintain themselves 3& 3iasing perception
and cognition and 3& in'luencing how the child shapes hisEher own interpersonal environment
4Bowl3&A 27=7E275:A 276?< Bowl3& suggested that 3ecause o' the endurance o' working
modelsA attachment 3ehavior in adolescence and adulthood is a direct extension o' childhood
attachment 3ehavior The evaluation o' attachment 3e&ond childhood through instruments such
as the Adult Attachment .nterview 4AA.<A involves assessing the internal working models
esta3lished earlier in li'e 4#ainA IaplanA J +assid&A 275;< The AA. does not seek to elicit
o3$ective memories o' past attachment related events8 rather it endeavors to in'er the individualFs
strategies 'or regulating the attachment s&stem through the anal&sis o' hisEher narrative o'
childhood attachment experiences 4(an .$zendoornA 277;< The interview assesses the securit&
o' the individualFs attachment 3& examining the coherence o' hisEher depiction o' attachment
experiences and how well heEshe is a3le to incorporate speci'ic memories into a 3roader
understanding o' the parent-child relationship %nlike assessments o' attachment in in'anc&A this
interview does not evaluate the current securit& o' attachments and is not relationship speci'ic
4#ain et alA 275;<
#ain and colleagues 4275;< identi'ied three ma$or patterns 'or classi'&ing adult
attachment Dithin this schemeA individuals who are a3le to discuss past attachment experiences
coherentl& and integrate these experiences into their representations o' themselves in
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Attachment and Externalizing Behaviors
relationships are classi'ied as securel& attached These individuals also value attachment
relationships "ismissing attachment is marked 3& incoherent discourse regarding attachment
experiences These individuals ma& idealize attachment 'iguresA claim the& are una3le to recall
attachment experiencesA or dismiss the impact o' non-supportive experiences .ndividuals
classi'ied as dismissing ma& 'urther 3elittle the need 'or attachment or attachment 'igures
.ndividuals who are identi'ied as having a preoccupied attachment st&le o'ten exhi3it anger in
discussing attachment relationshipsA have trou3le separating past and present relationshipsA and
waiver 3etween positive and negative appraisals o' attachment experiences Though the& are
given di''erent namesA the classi'ications o' insecure adult attachment descri3ed a3ove are
analogous to the a'orementioned insecure attachment classi'ications 'or in'ants .n other wordsA
dismissing attachment in adulthood is the counterpart o' avoidant attachment in in'anc& 4#aioA
@inchmanA J -&cettA :>>><A and preoccupied attachment is the counterpart o' am3ivalent
attachment 4Allen et alA :>>:<
Bartholomew 4277>< expanded upon these three categories o' adult attachmentA de'ining
'our attachment classi'ications 3ased on two dimensions o' internal working models These two
dimensions include a sel'-modelA characterized 3& the sel'-worth and anxiet& experienced in
attachment relationshipsA and an other-modelA characterized 3& the tendenc& to seek out or avoid
support .n this s&stemA secure attachment involves having positive sel'- and other-modelsA
which ena3les one to develop intimate relationships while maintaining autonom& Those with a
preoccupied pattern o' attachment have a negative sel'-model and a positive other-modelA
leading to the anxious pursuit o' intimac& and reassurance "ismissing attachment consists o' a
positive sel'-model and a negative other-modelA which results in high sel'-esteemA coupled with a
desire to preserves oneFs independence in relationships The 'ourth categor& in this s&stemA
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Attachment and Externalizing Behaviors
'ear'ul attachmentA involves negative sel'- and other-models Those with a 'ear'ul attachment
pattern are 3elieved to avoid intimac& 3ecause the& 'ear loss
Externalizing Behaviors
The 3ehavioral and emotional pro3lems that past research has examined in relationship to
attachment 'all into two ma$or categoriesA known as GexternalizingH and GinternalizingH 3ehavior
Aggressive and delinCuent 3ehavior andA in some casesA attention pro3lems and h&peractivit& 'all
into the externalizing domainA whereas anxiet&A depressionA somatic complaintsA and withdrawal
are classi'ied within the internalizing grouping 4Achen3achA 275;< The present research will
concentrate speci'icall& on the relationship 3etween the attachment patterns and externalizing
3ehaviorA which previous studies have shown to 3e signi'icantl& higher in insecurel& versus
securel& attached children 4SpeltzA 0reen3ergA J "ekl&enA 277><
Why is it important to study externalizing behaviors Externalizing 3ehavior is o'
particular interest 'or a num3er o' reasons This t&pe o' disruptive 3ehavior is the most common
re'erral pro3lem 'or preschool children 3rought to child ps&chiatr& clinics 4RichmanA 275;<
Externalizing 3ehavior that is present at age three or 'our &ears is also likel& to persist into
elementar& school and earl& adolescence 4pro3a3ilit& around ;>K< 4+amp3ellA 277;< #o''itt
4277?< recognized this sta3ilit& speci'icall& in serious antisocial 3ehavior over the li'espan 3ut
also noted the temporar& increase in the num3er o' people involved in serious acts o'
delinCuenc& in adolescence These 'eatures o' externalizing 3ehavior make it a particularl&
interesting construct to investigate in adolescenceA especiall& as it relates to attachmentA a
construct rooted in childhood and theorized to in'luence 3ehavior over the li'espan Both
externalizing 3ehavior and attachment 3oast strong developmental theories and empirical
research to support the nature o' their growth 'rom childhood to adolescenceA making a
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Attachment and Externalizing Behaviors
compelling case 'or a line o' inCuir&A like that undertaken in this stud&A aimed at developing a
more comprehensive understanding o' the interpla& 3etween the two constructs
!easuring externalizing behavior. As noted a3oveA externalizing 3ehavior is an um3rella
termA encompassing a variet& o' pro3lem 3ehaviors that have 3een de'ined 3oth 3& clinical
diagnoses and empiricall& 3ased pro3lem 3ehavior s&ndromes Two o' the most widel& used and
validated measures o' externalizing 3ehavior are the +hild Behavior +hecklist 4+B+-< and the
Bouth Sel' Report 4BSR< 4Achen3achA 2756< The +B+- is a measure that allows parents to
report on the competencies and 3ehavioral and emotional pro3lems o' 9-25 &ear olds The BSR
is a sel'-report measure designed 'or children with a mental age o' at least 2> &ears that allows
adolescents to report on their own competencies and pro3lems The items used on the two
measures are identical to a large degree and &ield scores 'or speci'ic scalesA including Attention
!ro3lemsA "elinCuent BehaviorA and Aggressive Behavior The "S# diagnoses o' attention
de'icit h&peractivit& disorder 4A"H"<A conduct disorder 4+"<A and oppositional de'iant disorder
41""< have also 3een viewed as externalizing 3ehavior pro3lems 4HinshawA 277:< 0ouldA
BirdA and *aramilloA 4277?< investigated the convergence 3etween the 3ehavior pro3lem
s&ndromes derived 'rom the +B+- and BSR and ps&chiatric diagnoses 3ased on the "S#-...
The authors 'ound a strong linear relationship 3etween scores on the Attention !ro3lems scale
and A""A " 42A ::;< L ;;2A p M >>2 Scores on the "elinCuent scale were linearl& related to a
diagnosis o' either conduct disorder or oppositional disorderA " 42A?>=< L 5=;A p M >>2 A
strong linear relationship was also 'ound 3etween a diagnosis o' either conduct disorder or
oppositional disorder and scores on the Aggressive scaleA " 42A ?>=< L 29:6A p M >>2
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Attachment and Externalizing Behaviors
The #elationship Bet$een Attachment and Externalizing Behaviors
Research has shown that parental warmth and attachment ma& reduce the negative e''ects
o' stress and promote adaptive 'unctioning in children 40armez&A 275?< +onversel&A insecure
attachment has 3een identi'ied as a risk 'actor that interacts with other 'actors within the 'amil&
and the child to increase the likelihood o' childhood 3ehavior pro3lems 40reen3erg J SpeltzA
2755< Argua3l&A insecure attachment ma& lead to deviant 3ehavior when children whose
parents are not responsive and supportive develop models o' attachment characterized 3& anger
and hostilit& These children are also likel& to 3elieve that the people in their lives will not meet
their needs 4-oe3er J "ishonA 275?< Toth and +icchetti 4277=< proposed a similar ideaA
claiming that a Gmaladaptive pathwa&H ma& link earl& insecure attachment to the development o'
negative models o' relationship 'igures in later childhood .n addition to developing negative
internal working models o' attachment relationshipsA insecure children ma& learn to over or
under regulate their a''ect and 3ehavior in reaction to caretakers who selectivel& respond to their
emotional needs 4Srou'eA 275?< 1ther research indicates that close and a''ectionate
relationships 3etween children and caretakers 'acilitate childrenFs internalization o' rules o'
conduct and increase the likelihood that children will 'eel committed to the wel'are o' others
4IochanskaA T$e3kesA J @ormanA 2775< The maladaptive externalizing 3ehaviors that ma&
ultimatel& result 'rom insecure attachments to parents are the 'ocus o' the current stud&
The relationship bet$een aggression and attachment. !ast researchers have explored the
a'orementioned externalizing 3ehaviorsA including aggressive 3ehaviorA delinCuent 3ehaviorA and
attention pro3lemsA within the 'ramework o' attachment theor& Studies o' aggression in
children have 3uilt on Bowl3&Fs 427=7E275:A 276?< idea that the maladaptive views o' the sel'
and others that result 'rom insecure parent-child relationships put a child at risk 'or aggression
2>
Attachment and Externalizing Behaviors
#ain and 0oldw&n 42759< 'ound that insecurel& attached in'ants acted more aggressivel& toward
their mothers than did securel& attached in'ants This greater aggressiveness has 3een shown to
carr& over into childhood among children with an avoidant attachment classi'ication 'rom low-
income samples 4RenkenA EgelandA #arvinne&A #angelsdor'A J Srou'eA 2757< Studies o'
middle-income samplesA howeverA 'ailed to 'ind the same association 4@agot J IavanaghA 277>8
-ewisA @eiringA #c0u''ogA J *askirA 2759< with the exception o' Teti and A3lardFs 42757<
si3ling stud&A which 'ound securel& attached children to 3e less aggressive and more compliant
than insecure children Aggression and attachment have also 3een examined among ph&sicall&
a3usedA neglectedA and nona3usedEnonneglected children 4@inziA RamA Har-EvanA ShnitA J
DeizmanA :>>2< This research 'ound that a3used children were signi'icantl& more likel& to
have an avoidant attachment st&le and higher aggression scores than the other two groupsA
whereas neglected children were signi'icantl& more likel& to displa& am3ivalent attachment and
lower aggression than a3used children Nona3usedEnonneglected children were characterized 3&
a secure attachment st&le 4=5=K< and low aggression
Aggression and noncompliance in childhood have also 3een linked to antisocial 3ehavior
in adolescence 4-oe3er J "ishonA 275?<A which researchers have onl& more recentl& 3egun to
examine in relation to attachment #an& studies o' adolescentsF attachment to parentsA howeverA
have 'ocused on current relationship Cualit& rather than attempting to assess the adolescentFs
models o' attachment relationships 'ormed in childhood @or exampleA SimonsA !aterniteA and
Shore 4:>>2< 'ound that adolescentsF perceived Cualit& o' mother-adolescent attachment was
negativel& correlated to sel'-reported aggression 1ther research has used attachment theor& to
investigate how attachment to parents carries over speci'icall& into other intimate relationships
@or instanceA insecurel& attached adolescents have 3een 'ound to 3e more likel& to 3e engaged in
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Attachment and Externalizing Behaviors
reciprocall& aggressive dating relationships than are securel& attached adolescents 4Bookwala J
/daniukA 2775< .n terms o' more glo3al measures o' aggression and other externalizing
3ehaviorsA the child or adolescentFs internal working model o' attachment relationships is
thought to 3e the link 3etween poor parenting in childhood and pro3lem 3ehavior in adolescence
4AllenA A3erA J -ead3eaterA 277>< The present research hopes to elucidate the nature o' the link
3etween attachment representations 'ormed in earl& childhood and general aggressive 3ehavior
The role of attachment in explaining delin%uency. The stud& o' delinCuenc& as it relates
to attachment is rooted directl& in Bowl3&Fs 42799< original conception o' attachment theor&A
which was developed in part to explain the personalit& o' $uvenile thieves Bowl3& posited that
these $uveniles had developed internal working models o' others as unworth& o' trustA empath&A
and concernA leading to a callous interpersonal st&le .n HirschiFs 427=7< criminological theor&
o' delinCuent 3ehaviorA attachment was descri3ed as an a''ective relationship that 'acilitates the
internalization o' norms Those with insecure attachments ma& lack the social 3onds that would
cause them to identi'& with the social order
#ore recent work has produced evidence to support these claims that attachment is
related to delinCuenc& @or exampleA ArsenioA SheaA and Sacks 4:>>>< 'ound that $uvenile
o''enders were more likel& to 3e insecurel& attached than their peersA while AllenA #ooreA
IupermincA and Bell 42775< 'ound that a com3ination o' adolescent-reported sel'-worthA
adolescent-reported attachment to motherA and mother-reported maternal control predicted
mother-reported delinCuent 3ehavior .t was posited that delinCuenc& ma& 3e a 'orm o' re3ellion
against attachment 'iguresF norms and controls among insecure-dismissing adolescents 4AllenA
#ooreA J IupermincA 2776< Among insecure-preoccupied adolescentsA delinCuenc& ma& act as
a d&s'unctional 'orm o' attachment 3ehaviorA increasing the intensit& o' interaction with
2:
Attachment and Externalizing Behaviors
attachment 'igures 4Allen et alA 2775< .n this scenarioA the increasing autonom& that
characterizes parent-child interactions in adolescence is h&pothesized to 3e particularl&
threatening to preoccupied adolescents 4Allen et alA :>>:< This com3ination o' increasing
autonom& and the pre-existing vulnera3ilit& o' preoccupied attachment ma& help to explain the
great increase in delinCuenc& that occurs in adolescence 4#o''ittA 277?< The present research
will attempt to replicate and 'urther clari'& the link 3etween delinCuenc& and speci'ic attachment
st&les
Exploring the relationship bet$een attention problems and attachment. Though less
research has 3een devoted to exploring the relationship 3etween attention pro3lems and
attachmentA a 'ew studies have attempted to link these two constructs -adnier and #assanari
4:>>>< pointed out that 3ehaviors characteristic o' avoidant children are similar to s&mptoms o'
A"H"A 3ut 'ailed to produce evidence that A"H" occurs with greater 'reCuenc& among
children with an avoidant attachment st&le Alternativel&A another recent stud& 'ound that the
t&pe o' attachment insecurit& that was present in those children diagnosed with A"H" was
consistent with an am3ivalent attachment st&le 4+larkeA %ngererA +hahoudA *ohnsonA J Stie'elA
:>>:< Smith 42779< posited a phenomenon he re'erred to as dis-attachment that results 'rom a
'ailure o' the mother to 3ond with a child who is ver& demanding and di''icult to com'ort
Almost all o' the children Smith studied who experienced this dis-attachment also exhi3ited
s&mptoms o' A"H" Rather than proposing that the lack o' secure attachment causes A"H"A
howeverA he claimed that an underl&ing de'icit in the neurotransmitterA serotoninA is responsi3le
'or the s&mptoms o' A"H" as well as those 3ehaviors that prohi3it proper parent-child 3onding
.n a similar veinA -adnier and #assanari 4:>>>< descri3ed A"H" as a conseCuence o'
Gattachment de'icitsH that result 'rom G3onding 3reaksH A 3onding 3reak is an event that
2?
Attachment and Externalizing Behaviors
prevents a child 'rom 'orming a secure attachment to a caretaker The trauma o' 'ailed
attachment inter'eres with neurological developmentA resulting in attachment de'icitsA or
shortcomings in the childFs emotional development These de'iciencies in emotional
development are re'lected in the emotional and 3ehavioral s&mptoms o' A"H"
The direction o' this past research points to a connection 3etween attention pro3lems and
attachment st&leA 3ut the work done thus 'ar has 'ailed to operationalize attachment in a
consistent and meaning'ul wa& and has looked onl& at attention pro3lems as the& are expressed
in those diagnosed with A"H"A ignoring those who ma& have su3clinical levels o' these
pro3lems Research examining attention pro3lems as the& exists on a continuum 'rom the
perspective o' attachment theor& ma& 3e revealing o' how attachment st&le relates to attention
di''iculties in those who 'all 3oth a3ove and 3elow the clinical cuto'' 'or a diagnosis o' A"H"
Does &ender !atter in the Examination of Attachment and Externalizing Behaviors
Although researchers have drawn comparisons 3etween male and 'emales in the stud& o'
attachmentA these studies have 'ocused almost exclusivel& on children The present stud& seeks
to extend this research into adolescence According to Bowl3&Fs 427=7E275:< conception o'
attachmentA males and 'emales are eCuall& likel& to 3e securel& attachedA &et he noted that
'emales were more likel& to exhi3it am3ivalent attachmentA whereas males were more likel& to
exhi3it avoidant attachment +urrent research will examine whether this trend continues into
adolescenceA with 'emales more likel& to exhi3it preoccupied attachment and males more likel&
to exhi3it dismissing attachment
Dith respect to externalizing 3ehaviorA previous research has consistentl& 'ound males to
displa& higher levels o' this 3ehavior than 'emales An investigation o' pro3lem 3ehavior in
childhood 'ound that 3o&s were more o'ten placed in the clinical cut-o'' group 'or pro3lem
29
Attachment and Externalizing Behaviors
3ehavior than were girls 4#ossA RousseauA !arentA St--aurentA J SaintongeA 2775< !s&chiatric
diagnoses o' 3ehavior disorders also di''er 3etween males and 'emales Bo&s outnum3er girls
with a ratio o' ?)2 'or A"H" and with a ratio o' :)2 to ?)2 'or +" 4Ro3insA 2772< .n a stud&
emplo&ing the +B+-A girls also received lower scores in delinCuent and aggressive 3ehavior
40$one J StevensonA 2776< An exception to these 'indings is the 'act that 'emales who are
'ound in clinicalEad$udicated populations o'ten displa& a greater num3er o' co-mor3id pro3lems
than males in these settings 4#oretti J 1dgersA :>>:<
StillA 'ew studies have examined these constructs in a wa& that allows 'or a direct
comparison o' the relationship 3etween attachment st&le and externalizing 3ehavior in males and
'emales #oreoverA the research that exists has &ielded con'licting 'indings @or exampleA some
evidence has pointed to a stronger relationship 3etween pro3lem 3ehavior and insecure
attachment in 3o&s than in girls 4-ewis et alA 2759<A showing that 9>K o' insecure males
compared to =K o' secure males scored a3ove the 7>
th
percentile on the +B+- !ro3lem Total
scoreA while no signi'icant e''ects o' attachment securit& were 'ound 'or girls This same stud&A
howeverA 'ound that 3o&s classi'ied as insecurel& attached had more internalizing pro3lems than
securel& attached 3o&sA whereas girls classi'ied as insecurel& attached had more externalizing
pro3lems @urthermoreA another stud& 'ound that girls who were categorized as insecure-
avoidant were rated as more di''icult than securel& attached girls and 3o&s 4@agot J IavanaghA
277><
'ni%ue #elationship in (igh)#is* +amples
Studies o' attachment and externalizing 3ehavior have also explored these constructs
within 3oth normative and high-risk populations The research presented thus 'ar has included
2;
Attachment and Externalizing Behaviors
work done with samples drawn 'rom 3oth o' these populations +linicalEhigh-risk samples
deserve special attentionA howeverA as the prevalence o' attachment insecurit& and externalizing
3ehavior as well as the relationship 3etween these two constructs in these groups ma& di''er 'rom
normative samples Schar'e 4:>>:< 'ound that attachment could 3e relia3l& measured in a
clinical sample o' adolescents NeverthelessA the distri3ution o' children and adolescents across
the attachment classi'ications varies 3etween high-risk and normative samples Among
preschool aged childrenA SpeltzA 0reen3ergA and "ekl&en 4277>< 'ound that onl& :>K o' clinic
children exhi3ited secure attachmentsA whereas 6:K o' the comparison group was securel&
attached An investigation o' attachment in an adolescent clinic sample revealed that 79K o' the
sample was insecurel& attached 4Schar'eA :>>:< The present stud& will seek to replicate these
'indings
Externalizing 3ehavior has also 3een the 'ocus o' man& studies comparing high-risk and
normative samples Ramos-#arcuse J Arsenio 4:>>2< 'ound that these 3ehaviors were greater
among clinic-re'erred children than among non-clinic-re'erred children #oreoverA comor3idit&
rates o' the externalizing 3ehaviors currentl& under investigation ma& 3e higher in a clinical
sample than in a normative sample due to GBerksonFs 3iasH 4BerksonA 279=< BerksonFs 3ias
re'ers to the higher pro3a3ilit& that those with multiple disorders will 3e re'erred 'or mental
health services
"espite a 3od& o' research that compares normative and high-risk samples with regard to
attachment st&le and externalizing 3ehaviorA past research has &et to explore how the relationship
3etween these constructs ma& di''er 3etween normative and high-risk samples Although direct
comparisons 3etween these two samples cannot 3e drawn 'rom the research to dateA studies o'
high-risk samples o' children have 'ound a relationship 3etween insecure attachment and
2=
Attachment and Externalizing Behaviors
externalizing 3ehavior 4Renken et alA 2757< that studies o' normative samples have 'ailed to 'ind
4@agot J IavanaghA 277>8 -ewis et alA 2759< Dith the advantage o' access to 3oth a normative
and high-risk sampleA the present research will improve upon these studies 3& testing 'or
invariant relationships across samples and exploring these Cuestions among adolescents
The research reviewed a3ove has shown that adolescentsF attachment st&les re'lect the
relationships 'orged with their parents in earl& childhood 4Bowl3&A 27=7E275:< Through the
adolescentFs internal working models o' attachment relationshipsA poor parenting in childhood
ma& continue to in'luence pro3lem 3ehavior in adolescence 4AllenA A3erA J -ead3eaterA 277><
!ast research has esta3lished that certain groupsA like males and 'emales 4Bowl3&A 27=7E275:<
and normative and high-risk populations 4SpeltzA 0reen3ergA and "ekl&enA 277>8 Schar'eA :>>:<A
var& in the prevalence o' speci'ic attachment st&les Additionall&A males 4#ossA RousseauA
!arentA St--aurentA J SaintongeA 27758 0$one J StevensonA 2776< and those drawn 'rom high-
risk groups 4Ramos-#arcuse J ArsenioA :>>2< have 3een 'ound to exhi3it higher levels o'
externalizing 3ehaviors "espite these 3odies o' research dealing separatel& with attachment and
externalizing 3ehaviors in these groupsA previous studies have &et to examine how the
relationship 3etween these constructs ma& di''er 3etween males and 'emales or normative and
high-risk samples The present stud& will explore how the association 3etween attachment st&le
and externalizing 3ehaviors varies 3& gender and sample 4normative versus high-risk<
(ypotheses
2 A greater proportion o' the normative sample will 3e securel& attached
: #ales will displa& a dismissing attachment st&le more o'ten than 'emalesA while 'emales
will displa& a preoccupied attachment st&le more o'ten than males
?

26
Attachment and Externalizing Behaviors
2 High-risk participants will exhi3it higher levels o' attention pro3lemsA aggressive
3ehaviorA and delinCuent 3ehavior than normative participants

9 #ales will exhi3it higher levels o' attention pro3lemsA aggressive 3ehaviorA and
delinCuent 3ehavior than 'emales
; .nsecure attachment will predict higher levels o' each t&pe o' externalizing 3ehavior
= Attachment insecurit& will 3e a 3etter predictor o' externalizing 3ehavior among 'emales
than among males
6 Attachment insecurit& will 3e a 3etter predictor o' externalizing 3ehavior in a high-risk
sample than in a normative sample
To test these h&pothesesA the present research drew samples 'rom larger studies o'
normative and high-risk adolescents Attachment and externalizing 3ehaviors were examined
independentl& and in relation to one another within each sample Externalizing 3ehaviors were
assessed as three constructsA attention pro3lemsA aggressive 3ehaviorA and delinCuent 3ehavior
.n additionA samples were split 3& gender to allow 'or comparisons o' males and 'emales B&
these meansA the current research sought to determine how gender and population 'rom which
one is drawn 4normative versus high-risk<A ma& a''ect how attachment st&le relates to
externalizing 3ehaviors
#ethods
,articipants
-ormative sample. This sample was drawn 'rom a larger longitudinal investigation o'
adolescent social development in 'amilial and peer contexts !articipants included 25=
adolescents 456 male and 75 'emale< The mean age o' the adolescents was 29:; &ears 4S" L
>5:<A with a range 'rom 2: to 2= &ears The racialEethnic 3ackground o' the sample was =>5K
25
Attachment and Externalizing Behaviors
+aucasianA ?56K minorit&A with >;K unreported The sample was primaril& 45:9K< o' upper
middle and upper socioeconomic status
Adolescents were recruited 'rom a pu3lic middle school drawing 'rom su3ur3an and
ur3an populations in the #id Atlantic %nited States Recruitment consisted o' an initial mailing
to all parents in the school along with 'ollow-up contact e''orts at school lunches !articipants
provided in'ormed assent 3e'ore each interview sessionA and parents provided in'ormed consent
All interviews took place in private o''ices within a universit& academic 3uilding
(igh)ris* sample. This sample was drawn 'rom a larger longitudinal stud& o' attachment
and antisocial 3ehavior among high-risk adolescents !articipants included :62 adolescents 42==
male and 2>; 'emale< The mean age o' the adolescents was 29?9 &ears 4S" L 297<A with a
range 'rom 2> to 25 &ears The racialEethnic 3ackground o' the sample was 95K +aucasianA 29K
minorit&A with ?5K unreported Though 5?9K o' the sample 'ailed to report their
socioeconomic statusA 557K o' those who did report on SES were o' lower and lower middle
status
Adolescents were recruited 'rom a mental health center that serves a largel& ur3an
population in Destern +anada !articipants were recruited upon entr& to the mental health
centerA either on an inpatient or outpatient 3asis Active parental consent was o3tained All
interviews took place in private o''ices within the mental health center
As these were convenience samplesA the& were not matched a priori with respect to
demographic characteristics As suchA the results must 3e interpreted with this limitation in mind
!easures
Adolescent Attachment .ntervie$ /AA.0 4+arlsonA 2757< Adolescents in the normative
sample were interviewed with the AA.A a modi'ied version o' the Adult Attachment .nterview
27
Attachment and Externalizing Behaviors
4#ainA IaplanA J +assid&A 275;< that maintains the same 3asic interview 'ormat This semi-
structured interview was designed to investigate adultFs attachment representations 3& pro3ing
'or descriptions o' earl& attachment relationships and speci'ic memories that support and
contradict these descriptions @or exampleA participants were asked to list 'ive words descri3ing
their earl& childhood relationships with their parents and then to descri3e speci'ic episodes that
re'lected those words 1ther Cuestions 'ocused on instances o' distressA lossA separationA traumaA
and re$ection -astl&A the interviewer asked the participant to give descriptions o' changes in
relationships with parents and the current state o' those relationships Scoring 'ocused on the
individualFs state o' mind regarding attachment 3& examining the accessi3ilit& o' earl&
experiences to memor& and the coherence o' the participantFs narrative Based on this interviewA
adolescents were classi'ied as secureA preoccupiedA dismissingA or unclassi'ia3le
"amily Attachment .ntervie$ /"A.0 4Bartholomew J HorowitzA 2772< Adolescents in
the high-risk sample were interviewed with the @A. This interview was designed to assess
experiences and 'eelings in 'amil& relationships and the coherence o' accounts o' those
relationships !articipants were asked to descri3e their 'amil& histor& and their 'eelings a3out
the importance o' 'amil& relationships Dith regard to relationships with their caregiversA
participants were asked to descri3e their reactions to instances o' separation or lossA 'eelings in
the relationshipA and changes since childhood !articipants were classi'ied as secureA
preoccupiedA dismissingA 'ear'ulA or even split
The various attachment classi'ications derived 'rom the AA. and the @A. were com3ined
to create 'our common categories o' attachment st&le 'or use in the present stud& This course o'
action is $usti'ia3le 3ased on research that has 'ound a 65K correspondence 3etween the three
main categories o' attachment in the AA. 4secureA preoccupiedA and dismissing< and the
:>
Attachment and Externalizing Behaviors
corresponding categories 'or the @A. 4Bartholomew J ShaverA 2775< Those who were
unclassi'ia3le 3ased on the AA. were com3ined with those who were la3eled even split 3ased on
the @A.A as these categories have roughl& the same meaning in their respective coding s&stems
Those who were classi'ied as 'ear'ul 3ased on the @A. were la3eled dismissing 'or the purposes
o' this stud&A as 3oth o' these orientations to attachment drive avoidant 3ehavior 4BartholomewA
HendersonA J "uttonA :>>2<
1outh +elf #eport /1+#0 4Achen3achA 2756< The BSR is a sel'-report measure designed
'or children with a mental age o' at least 2> &ears that allows adolescents to report on their own
competencies and pro3lems The original 'orm o' the BSR includes 22: items divided into 7
scales) DithdrawnA Somatic +omplaintsA AnxiousE"epressedA Social !ro3lemsA Thought
!ro3lemsA Attention !ro3lemsA "elinCuent BehaviorA and Aggressive Behavior !articipants
were asked to rate how well a num3er o' descriptions o' s&mptomatic 3ehaviors applied to them
within the past = monthsA on a scale o' > L not trueA 2 L somewhat or sometimes trueA and : L
ver& o'ten or o'ten true Both the normative and high-risk samples were given shortened
versions o' the BSR The present stud& emplo&ed onl& those items 'rom the BSR that were
drawn 'rom the Attention !ro3lemsA "elinCuent BehaviorA and Aggressive Behavior scales and
were administered to 3oth samples
Results
Analyses .2 ,revalence of Attachment +tyles by +ample and &ender
As illustrated in Ta3le 2A the normative sample had a greater proportion o' securel&
attached participantsA while the high-risk sample had a greater percentage o' participants in each
o' the other attachment classi'icationsA even splitA preoccupiedA and dismissing Dhile no gender
di''erences were 'ound in even split or secure attachmentA a greater percentage o' 'emales were
:2
Attachment and Externalizing Behaviors
classi'ied as preoccupiedA whereas a greater percentage o' males were classi'ied as dismissing
Additional anal&ses &ielded the same pattern o' gender di''erences within the normative and
high-risk samples 4see Ta3le :<
NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN
.nsert Ta3les 2 J : here
NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN
Analyses ..2 3evels of Externalizing Behavior
%nivariate anal&ses o' varianceA reported in Ta3le ?A examined whether levels o'
externalizing 3ehavior di''ered signi'icantl& 3etween sample or gender groupings The high-risk
sample exhi3ited greater attention pro3lemsA aggressionA and delinCuent 3ehavior than the
normative sample Dhile no signi'icant gender di''erences were 'ound in attention pro3lemsA
aggressive 3ehaviorA or delinCuent 3ehavior in the com3ined sample or in the normative sample
alone 4see Ta3le 9<A high-risk 'emales exhi3ited signi'icantl& greater attention pro3lems than did
their high-risk male counterparts
NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN
.nsert Ta3les ? J 9 here
NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN
Analyses ...2 The #elationship Bet$een Attachment and Externalizing Behaviors
Additional univariate anal&ses o' variance were per'ormed to investigate possi3le
associations 3etween the various attachment st&les and externalizing 3ehaviors These anal&ses
were carried out with the entire sample and with each o' the gender and sample groups
separatel& Results 'or the com3ined sample 4see Ta3le ;< indicated that secure attachment was
associated with 'ewer attention pro3lems and less aggressive and delinCuent 3ehavior
::
Attachment and Externalizing Behaviors
!reoccupied attachment predicted greater attention pro3lems and aggressive and delinCuent
3ehavior "ismissing attachment was associated onl& with greater delinCuent 3ehavior
NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN
.nsert Ta3le ; here
NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN
Dhen the entire sample was split 3& genderA secure attachment was associated with 'ewer
attention pro3lems and less aggressive and delinCuent 3ehavior in 3oth males and 'emales 4see
Ta3le =< !reoccupied attachment was associated with greater attention pro3lems and aggressive
and delinCuent 3ehavior in 'emalesA 3ut predicted onl& greater attention pro3lems and aggressive
3ehavior in males "ismissing attachment was not associated with an& di''erence in
externalizing 3ehaviors except 'or greater attention pro3lems in 'emales
NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN
.nsert Ta3le = here
NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN
Dith the exception o' greater aggressive 3ehavior among preoccupied normative
participants 4" 42A 2?=< L 9=6A p L >?:<A the associations 3etween attachment st&les and
externalizing 3ehaviors did not exist in the normative and high-risk samples when the& were
anal&zed separatel& #ales and 'emales were also anal&zed separatel& within each sampleA
revealing greater aggressive 3ehavior among normative 'emales with a preoccupied attachment
st&le 4" 42A =7< L ;9?A p L >:?< This 'inding constituted the onl& signi'icant association
3etween attachment st&le and externalizing 3ehavior within the 'our su3-samples de'ined 3&
gender and sample t&pe 4see Ta3le 6< .n order to examine the nature o' these relationships more
closel&A a series o' advanced statistical anal&ses were per'ormed Speci'icall& the goals o' these
anal&sis were to8 42< ensure that the same latent construct o' aggression was 3eing measured
:?
Attachment and Externalizing Behaviors
across groupsA and 4:< test 'or the possi3ilit& that the decrease in statistical signi'icance was due
the reduced sample size created 3& within group anal&ses
NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN
.nsert Ta3le 6 here
NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN
Analyses .42 +tructural !odeling
The 'irst set o' advanced anal&ses involved 'itting a series o' multigroup 'actor anal&tic
models and testing 'or invariance across the high risk and normative samples This procedure
was used to test 'or measurement eCuivalence across the two groups Although the same measure
o' externalizing 3ehavior was used 4Bouth Sel' Report<A the possi3ilit& existed that that the
underl&ing construct that the& were tapping into was %ualitatively di''erent 4#cArdleA 277=8
#cArdle J NesselroadeA 2779< .n order to determine that aggression had 3een measured
eCuivalentl& across the samples the 'actor loading patterns 'rom o3served indicators o'
aggression to the latent constructs o' aggression had to 3e eCual across the samples The items
used as indicators included . destroy other people5s things6 Odestro&AF . disobey at school6
OschoolAF . get in many fights6 O'ightsAF . have a hot temper6 OtemperAF . threaten to hurt people6
7threatenF
The ke& Cuestion guiding this anal&sis was whether)
2 the 'actor structure o' aggression was invariant across normative and high-risk samples
!revious research using similar measures has assumed that the structure o' aggression is
eCuivalent across gender and has simpl& summed the items to 'orm su3scales
.n order to determine the 3est model 'or the dataA a series o' con'irmator& models were
'it !rior to testing 'or invariance across the normative and high-risk samplesA a 3aseline model
was esta3lished 'or each group separatel& Alternative models were then 'it separatel& The 'it o'
the model that constrained 3oth the variances and loadings to 3e eCual was accepta3le 4P
:
L ?;:A
:9
Attachment and Externalizing Behaviors
df L 29A R#SEA L >=< Speci'icall&A there was no signi'icant improvement in 'it when
constraints were li'ted
NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN
.nsert @igures 2 J : here
NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN
The second set o' advanced anal&ses also involved 'itting a series o' multigroup
con'irmator& 'actor anal&tic models HereA the Cuestion was whether in'ormation could 3e gained
3& using the true score o' aggression within a 'actor model as the dependent varia3le in a
structural 'ramework This GtrueH score was 'ree o' measurement error and allowed 'or a more
precise estimation o' the association 3etween the independent and dependent varia3les
The ke& Cuestions guiding these anal&ses were whether)
: the relationships 3etween genderA attachment and aggression were 3etter understood within
a structural modeling 'rameworkA and whether
? the relationship 3etween genderA attachmentA and aggression di''ered signi'icantl& 3etween
high-risk and normative adolescents
.n order to determine the 3est model 'or the dataA a series o' con'irmator& models were 'it
!rior to testing 'or invariance across the normative and high-risk samplesA a 3aseline model was
esta3lished 'or each group separatel& Alternative models were then 'it and evaluated against the
3aseline model The 'irst model was the most restrictive and constrained all o' the parameter
estimates and variances to 3e eCuivalent across the sample Dhile this model demonstrated an
accepta3le level o' 'it 4P
:
L =?? df L ??A R#SEA L >9<A the 'it improved signi'icantl& when the
regressions 'rom OgenderF and OsecureF to OaggressionF were allowed to var&
NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN
.nsert @igures ? J 9 here
NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN
"iscussion
:;
Attachment and Externalizing Behaviors
The present stud& sought to develop a greater understanding o' how gender and the
nature o' the sample 4high-risk versus normative< ma& a''ect the relationships 3etween
participantsF speci'ic attachment st&les and sel'-reported externalizing 3ehaviors This stud& has
&ielded several signi'icant di''erences 3etween the groups in Cuestion and a''irms the need 'or
research comparing normative and high-risk samples with respect to attachment st&le and
externalizing 3ehavior
The #ole of &ender and +ample Type in the ,revalence of +pecific Attachment +tyles
.t was expected that attachment securit& would 3e greater in the normative sample
@indings supported this h&pothesized di''erence in the 'reCuenc& o' various attachment st&les
3ased on sample t&peA revealing that secure attachment was more common among normative
participantsA while each o' the other attachment st&lesA even splitA preoccupiedA and dismissingA
were 'ound with greater 'reCuenc& in the high-risk sample These 'indings are consistent with
the 'indings o' previous researchers 4Speltz et alA 277>8 Schar'eA :>>:<
H&potheses pertaining to gender predicted that males would 3e more likel& to displa&
dismissing attachment than 'emalesA while 'emales would 3e more likel& to displa& preoccupied
attachment than males @emales were in 'act more likel& to 3e classi'ied as preoccupiedA while
males were more likel& to 3e classi'ied as dismissing These results are in keeping with
Bowl3&Fs 427=7< 'indings that 'emale in'ants were more likel& to exhi3it am3ivalent attachmentA
while males were more likel& to exhi3it avoidant attachment This 'inding provides evidence o'
sta3ilit& in gender di''erences in attachment st&le over the li'espan The replication o' this
gender di''erence also rea''irms the need to stud& the impact o' gender on the relationship
3etween attachment st&le and its various correlates
:=
Attachment and Externalizing Behaviors
.s Aggression 8ualitatively Different Across (igh)ris* and -ormative 1outh
Advanced statistical anal&ses were emplo&ed to determine whether the items used to
measure the externalizing 3ehaviors were assessing the same three constructs in 3oth the
normative and high-risk samples The 'actor anal&tic techniCues used to make this determination
could 3e emplo&ed onl& with the items measuring aggressive 3ehaviorA as the num3er o' items
measuring delinCuent 3ehavior and attention pro3lems were insu''icient to per'orm the anal&ses
@indings esta3lished that the construct o' aggressive 3ehavior that the selected BSR items were
attempting to measure was not %ualitatively di''erent across samplesA despite the %uantitative
di''erences in levels o' aggressive 3ehavior 'ound in the two samples This result holds promise
'or the current and 'uture researchA in that the same measures can 3e used to measure this
construct in normative and high-risk samplesA allowing 'or more straight'orward comparisons o'
these groups
When $as &ender of .mportance in ,redicting Externalizing Behavior
As expectedA high-risk &outh had higher rates o' externalizing 3ehaviorA howeverA there
were no signi'icant gender di''erences 'ound in an& o' the externalizing 3ehaviors within the
com3ined sample This 'inding is intriguing given that past research has consistentl& 'ound
higher rates o' externalizing 3ehaviors in males 4#ossA RousseauA !arentA St--aurentA J
SaintongeA 27758 Ro3insA 27728 0$one J StevensonA 2776< A possi3le explanation 'or the lack
o' signi'icant gender di''erences is the use o' sel'-report measures Such measures ma& &ield
higher scores 'or externalizing 3ehaviors among 'emalesA as the& are 'ree 'rom the 3iases o'
clinicians and other reporters who ma& 3e reluctant to give externalizing diagnoses or high
ratings on externalizing 3ehaviors to 'emales as these 3ehaviors violate gender stereot&pes
:6
Attachment and Externalizing Behaviors
Although no gender di''erences were 'ound in the sample overallA separate anal&ses o'
the high-risk and normative samples revealed gender di''erences within these groups %nivariate
anal&ses o' variance 'ound that high-risk 'emales had higher levels o' attention pro3lems than
high-risk malesA which could 3e explained 3& the idea that 'emales who are 'ound in a
clinicalEad$udicated population o'ten have more co-mor3id pro3lems than males in these settings
4#oretti J 1dgersA :>>:< +on'irmator& 'actor anal&tic models revealed relationships that had
previousl& gone undetected8 namel&A that males within normative populations were more likel&
to exhi3it aggressive 3ehavior This 'inding could 3e a result o' selection 3iasA since 'emales ma&
need to have levels o' externalizing 3ehavior compara3le to malesF to 3ecome part o' the high-
risk sample
The #elationship Bet$een Attachment and Externalizing Behaviors
.nsecure attachment was h&pothesized to predict higher levels o' aggressive 3ehaviorA
delinCuent 3ehaviorA and attention pro3lems Dhen the sample was anal&zed as a wholeA
'indings generall& supported this h&pothesisA with secure attachment associated with lower levels
o' each 3ehavior These results are in line with previous research that has linked secure
attachment to lower levels o' aggressive 3ehavior 4#ain and 0oldwinA 27598 Teti and A3lardFsA
27578 SimonsA !aterniteA J ShoreA :>>28 Bookwala J /daniukA 2775<A delinCuent 3ehavior
4AllenA #ooreA IupermincA and BellA 27758 AllenA #ooreA J IupermincA 27768 Allen et alA
:>>:<A and attention pro3lems 4-adnier and #assanariA :>>>8 +larkeA %ngererA +hahoudA
*ohnsonA J Stie'elA :>>:8 SmithA 2779<
:5
Attachment and Externalizing Behaviors
The role of preoccupied attachment style. !reoccupied attachment was associated with
higher levels o' each externalizing 3ehavior This 'inding con'orms to past research that has
'ound relationships 3etween attention pro3lems and preoccupied attachment 4+larke et alA :>>:<A
as well as 3etween delinCuent 3ehavior and preoccupied attachment 4AllenA #ooreA IupermincA
and BellA 27758 AllenA #ooreA J IupermincA 27768 Allen et alA :>>:< +onversel&A the speci'ic
association 'ound 3etween preoccupied attachment and higher levels o' aggressive 3ehaviorA
coupled with a lack o' association 3etween dismissing attachment and aggressive 3ehaviorA was
inconsistent with past 'indings 4RenkenA EgelandA #arvinne&A #angelsdor'A J Srou'eA 27578
@inziA RamA Har-EvanA ShnitA J DeizmanA :>>2< linking aggression exclusivel& to avoidant
attachment 1ne potential explanation 'or these contradictor& 'indings is the di''erence in the
ages o' the samples 3eing compared !revious research has 3een done mainl& with in'ants and
childrenA while the present stud& examined adolescents The preeminence o' preoccupied
attachment as a predictor o' aggression among adolescents ma& 3e related to Allen and
colleaguesF 4:>>:< idea that increasing autonom& in adolescence ma& 3e especiall& threatening
to preoccupied adolescentsA causing an increase in their 3ehavior pro3lems at this age
The implications of dismissing attachment style. Also in keeping with h&potheses and
past research 4AllenA #ooreA IupermincA and BellA 27758 AllenA #ooreA J IupermincA 27768
Allen et alA :>>:<A a relationship was 'ound 3etween dismissing attachment higher levels o'
delinCuent 3ehavior
The #ole of Attachment in ,redicting Externalizing Behavior Among !ales versus "emales
Attachment insecurit& was expected to 3e a 3etter predictor o' externalizing 3ehavior
among 'emales than among males !artial support was 'ound 'or this h&pothesisA as preoccupied
and dismissing attachment st&les were related to higher levels o' a greater num3er o'
:7
Attachment and Externalizing Behaviors
externalizing 3ehaviors in 'emales than in males !ast research suggesting a stronger
relationship 3etween externalizing 3ehavior and insecure attachment in 'emales than in males
4-ewisA @eiringA #c0u''ogA J *askirA 27598 @agot J IavanaughA 277>< was echoed 3& the
discover& that insecure-preoccupied attachment predicted higher levels o' all externalizing
3ehaviors 'or 'emalesA 3ut 'ailed to predict higher delinCuent 3ehavior in males Additionall&A
insecure-dismissing attachment 'ailed to predict higher levels o' an& o' the externalizing
3ehaviors 'or malesA 3ut did predict greater attention pro3lems in 'emales 1ne possi3le
interpretation o' this 'inding draws on evidence 'rom past research 4Bowl3&A 27=7E275:<A as well
as 'rom the present stud&A that points to a lower proportion o' 'emales exhi3iting dismissing
attachment Studies have also 'ound that 'emales are less likel& to 3e diagnosed with A"H"
4Ro3insA 2772< ThusA the association 3etween dismissing attachment and attention pro3lems
ma& 3e related to a third varia3leA gender role deviation
+ontrar& to the h&pothesisA howeverA the reverse relationship o' secure attachment to
lower levels o' externalizing 3ehavior was not more prevalent among 'emalesA as this
relationship existed in 3oth males and 'emales when the sexes were anal&zed separatel& Be&ond
providing 'urther evidence that 'emalesF externalizing 3ehavior is 3etter predicted 3& insecure
attachment than is malesF externalizing 3ehaviorA these 'indings indicate that externalizing
3ehaviors are associated with di''erent t&pes o' insecure attachment in males versus 'emales
The #ole of Attachment in ,redicting Externalizing Behavior Among (igh)#is* 1outh
Attachment insecurit& was expected to 3e a 3etter predictor o' externalizing 3ehavior in a
high-risk sample than in a normative sample %nivariate anal&ses o' variance &ielded no support
'or this h&pothesisA revealing thatA despite a 'inding o' greater aggressive 3ehavior among
preoccupied normative participantsA no associations were 'ound 3etween attachment st&le and
?>
Attachment and Externalizing Behaviors
externalizing 3ehavior when the normative and high-risk samples were examined separatel&
Advanced anal&sesA howeverA 'ound thatA in the normative sampleA aggressive 3ehavior is lower
among those with a secure attachment st&le No such relationship was 'ound in the high-risk
sample These 'indings are also contrar& to the h&pothesis and directl& oppose past work that
has 'ound a relationship 3etween insecure attachment and externalizing 3ehavior in a high-risk
sample 4Renken et alA 2757<A while studies o' normative samples have 'ailed to 'ind such a
relationship 4@agot J IavanaghA 277>8 -ewis et alA 2759< A possi3le explanation 'or this
reversal o' past 'indings is the distri3ution o' participants in each sample over the attachment
classi'ications Although the ma$orit& o' normative participants in the present stud& were
classi'ied as secureA this group showed greater varia3ilit& in attachment classi'ication than the
high-risk groupA which was overwhelmingl& insecurel& attached 4592K<
The current research replicated man& o' the 'indings o' past studiesA including the higher
levels o' insecure attachment and externalizing 3ehavior 'ound in high-risk samples as well
as the relationship 3etween secure attachment and lower levels o' externalizing 3ehavior
'ound in the com3ined sample The 'ailure to 'ind a relationship 3etween attachment st&le
and externalizing 3ehavior in the high-risk sampleA howeverA contradicted h&potheses and
precluded the possi3ilit& o' comparing how that relationship might 'unction di''erentl& in
the normative versus the high-risk sample StillA these results should 3e considered a 'irst
step toward research that allows such comparisons and should 3e viewed in light o' the
methodological weaknesses inherent in an& secondar& data anal&sis
3imitations
.n the present stud&A data was 3rought together 'rom two large-scale studies Although
some o' the same measurement instruments were emplo&ed in these studiesA the& were conducted
?2
Attachment and Externalizing Behaviors
independentl& and 'or di''erent purposes ThusA the samples were not matched 'or demographic
characteristicsA like socioeconomic statusA living environment 4small versus large ur3an area<A or
ethnicit& "emographic dissimilarities 3etween the samples present a pro3lemA as the& represent
other varia3les on which the samples di''er These other varia3les cannot 3e ignored as possi3le
explanations 'or an& di''erences 'ound 3etween the two groups
1ther limitations o' the present stud& center on the measurements o' attachment
emplo&ed in each stud& "i''erent attachment interviews were used in the two samples and were
com3ined to create common categories o' attachment st&le in which to classi'& each participant
.n doing soA 3ene'its o' each o' the original measures o' attachment ma& have 3een lost The
Adolescent Attachment .nterview &ielded a continuous scale o' attachment st&le that had to 3e
collapsed into categoriesA eliminating all varia3ilit& that existed within each categor& o'
attachmentA which could have allowed 'or the anal&sis o' relationships 3etween levels o' securit&
and insecurit& and levels o' externalizing 3ehavior The @amil& Attachment .nterview included a
third t&pe o' attachment insecurit&A 'ear'ul attachment .n com3ining the measuresA this categor&
had to 3e merged with dismissing attachment Although 3oth 'ear'ul and dismissing attachment
are related to avoidant attachment 3ehaviorsA the 'ear'ul categor& is a well-validated
classi'ication that does not overlap per'ectl& with an& other insecure attachment st&le 0iven
that the two insecure attachment st&les were di''erentiall& associated with the three externalizing
3ehaviors in males versus 'emalesA the loss o' this 'ourth categor& ma& have curtailed the a3ilit&
to 'ind more speci'ic relationships 3etween externalizing 3ehavior and di''erent t&pes o' insecure
attachment in males and 'emales
Additionall&A attachment interviews were not given to ever& individual in the samples
AN1(As were run to determine whether there was a signi'icant di''erence in levels o'
?:
Attachment and Externalizing Behaviors
externalizing 3ehaviors among those in each sample who were given attachment interviews
versus those who were not These anal&ses revealed that high-risk participants who were given
the interview had higher levels o' delinCuent 3ehavior 4" 42A :9;< L 97>A p L >:5< and thatA
although the 'inding was not statisticall& signi'icantA there was a trend showing normative
participants who were not given the attachment interview to 3e higher in aggressive 3ehavior 4"
42A 262< L :72A p M 2><
Another limitation was the availa3le measure o' externalizing 3ehaviors These
constructs were assessed via items 'rom the Bouth Sel' report %n'ortunatel&A each stud& 'rom
which data was drawn emplo&ed di''erent shortened 'rom o' the BSR8 there'oreA onl& those
items that overlapped 3etween the two studies could 3e used in the present stud&A leaving onl&
three markers o' attention pro3lemsA three markers o' delinCuent 3ehaviorA and 'ive markers o'
aggressive 3ehavior Adding each participantFs scores on the items representing each o' the
three externalizing 3ehaviors created a score indicating the participantFs level o' each 3ehavior
The small num3er o' items availa3le allowed 'or onl& a small possi3le range o' scores de'ining
the levels o' each externalizing 3ehaviorA reducing varia3ilit& in those scores Having onl& three
items to de'ine attention pro3lems and delinCuent 3ehavior also precluded the use o' 'actor
anal&tic techniCues to assess the Cualit& o' these items as measures o' the intended constructs
.mplications6 #ecommendations6 and 8uestions #aised by this +tudy
This stud& is a meaning'ul step toward research that is trul& a3le to compare high-risk
and normative samples with regard to the relationship 3etween attachment and externalizing
3ehavior @uture research should 3e designed with such comparisons in mindA 3ringing together
samples 'rom each t&pe o' populationA matched 'or various demographic con'oundsA and
assessed with the same measures o' attachment and externalizing 3ehavior
??
Attachment and Externalizing Behaviors
@uture research could also improve upon the current stud& 3& taking advantage o' the
a'orementioned 3ene'its o' the di''erent measures o' attachment and 3& adding measures o'
externalizing 3ehaviorA like the +B+- and TR@A that would take into account the perspectives o'
multiple reporters Emplo&ing measures o' internalizing 3ehavior would also enhance 'uture
researchA as these 3ehaviors ma& 3e less con'ounded with high-riskEclinical status and couldA
there'oreA &ield greater varia3ilit& within each t&pe o' sample
Although the present 'indings partiall& support the idea that attachment is related to
externalizing 3ehaviorA the ina3ilit& to draw causal conclusions 'rom the availa3le data raises a
Cuestion o' causalit& that is worth& o' 'urther exploration The externalizing 3ehaviors measured
in this stud& ma& arise at di''erent points in the li'e span 3ut could also have precursors in
in'anc& that make the child more di''icult to deal with Attachment theor& contends that
parenting 3ehavior shapes the development o' internal working models in in'anc& that are
expressed as secure or insecure attachment st&les 4Bowl3&A 27=7E275:< .nsecure attachment has
3een identi'ied as a risk 'actor that interacts with other 'actors within the 'amil& and the child to
increase the likelihood o' childhood 3ehavior pro3lems 40reen3erg J SpeltzA 2755< @urther
research is necessar&A however to determine whether parenting 3ehavior works through
attachment to cause 3ehavior pro3lems or i' earl& precursors o' 3ehavior pro3lems alter
parenting 3ehaviorA resulting in di''erent parent-child interactions that are later expressed as
various attachment st&les
The 'inding that stands out most in this investigationA howeverA is that secure attachment
is associated with lower levels o' externalizing 3ehavior in the normative sample &et not in the
high-risk sample Dhile normative adolescentsF internal models o' attachment relationships are
signi'icantl& related to the likelihood that the& will engage in externalizing 3ehaviorsA these
?9
Attachment and Externalizing Behaviors
attachment representations do not predict 3ehavior among high-risk adolescents This 'inding
ma& indicate thatA though high-risk adolescents are less likel& to 3e securel& attachedA attachment
insecurit& is not the ke& to understanding their high levels o' externalizing 3ehavior These
results ma& point to a more 'ar-reaching dissimilarit& 3etween normative and high-risk groups
As suchA work aimed at developing interventions to reduce pro3lem 3ehaviors in adolescence
should avoid generalizing 'rom normative to high-risk samples and should 'ocus treatments on
the uniCue needs o' the targeted group Though the present research is a 'irst step in discovering
how these groups di''erA 'ar more work is needed to determine the various 'actors that in'luence
3ehavior among high-risk adolescents
Re'erences
Achen3achA T# 4275;< Assessment and taxonomy of child and adolescent psychopathology.
New3ur& !arkA +A) Sage !u3lications
Achen3achA T# J Edel3rockA + 42756< !anual for the 1outh +elf)#eport and ,rofile.
BurlingtonA (T) %niversit& o' (ermontA "epartment o' !s&chiatr&
AinsworthA #"SA BleharA #+A DatersA EA J DallA S 42765<. ,atterns of attachment2 A
psychological study of the strange situation. HillsdaleA N*) -awrence Erl3aum
AinsworthA #"SA J DittigA BA 427=7< Attachment and the explorator& 3ehavior o' one-
&ear-olds in a strange situation .n B# @oss 4Ed<AA Determinants of infant behavior 4(ol
9A pp 22?-2?=< -ondon)#ethuen
AllenA *!A A3erA *-A J -ead3eaterA B* 4277>< Adolescent pro3lem 3ehaviors) The in'luence
o' attachment and autonom& ,sychiatry 9linics of -orth America6 :;/;06 9;;-9=6
AllenA *!A #arshA !A #c@arlandA +A #cElhane&A IBA -andA "A *odlA IA J !eckA S 4:>>:<
Attachment and autonom& as predictors o' the development o' social skills and
?;
Attachment and Externalizing Behaviors
delinCuenc& during midadolescence <ournal of 9onsulting = 9linical ,sychology6
>?/:06 ;=-==
AllenA * !A #ooreA + #A J IupermincA 0 ! 42776< "evelopmental approaches to
understanding adolescent deviance .n S S -uthar J * A Burack 4Eds<A Developmental
psychopathology2 ,erspectives on ad@ustment6 ris*6 and disorder 4pp ;95Q;=6< New
Bork) +am3ridge %niversit& !ress
AllenA * !A #ooreA +A IupermincA 0A J BellA I 42775< Attachment and adolescent
ps&chosocial 'unctioning 9hild DevelopmentA ABA 29>=Q2927
ArsenioA DA SheaA TA J SacksA B 4:>>>< <uvenile offenders and comparison adolescents
conceptions of the emotional conse%uences of victimization2 #elations $ith attachment
and empathy. #anuscript su3mitted 'or pu3lication
BartholomewA I 4277>< Avoidance o' intimac&) An attachment perspective <ournal of +ocial
and ,ersonal #elationships6 >6 296-265
BartholomewA IA HendersonA AA J "uttonA " 4:>>2< .nsecure attachment and a3usive
intimate relationships .n + +lulow 4Ed<A Adult attachment and couple psychotherapy2
The 7secure base in practice and research 4pp 9?-=2< -ondon) Brunner-Routledge
BartholomewA IA J HorowitzA - 42772< Attachment st&les among &oung adults) A test
o' a 'our-categor& model <ournal of ,ersonality and +ocial ,sychology6 A:6 ::=-:99
BerksonA * 4279=< -imitations o' the application o' 'our'old ta3le anal&sis to hospital data
Biometrics Bulletin6 C6 96-;?
BookwalaA *A J /daniukA B 42775< Adult attachment st&les and aggressive 3ehavior within
dating relationships <ournal of +ocial and ,ersonal relationships6 :DA 26;-27>
Bowl3&A * 42799< @ort&-'our $uvenile thieves) Their characters and home li'e .nternational
?=
Attachment and Externalizing Behaviors
<ournal of ,sychoanalysis6 CD6 27-;:
Bowl3&A * 4276?< Attachment and loss2 4ol. C. +eparation. New Bork) Basic Books
Bowl3&A * 4275:< Attachment and loss2 4ol. C. Attachment. New Bork) Basic Books
41riginal work pu3lished 27=7<
+amp3ellA SB 4277;< Behavior pro3lems in preschool children) A review o' recent research
<ournal of 9hild ,sychology and ,sychiatry6 ;A6 22?-297
+arlsonA EA 42757< .ndividual differences in %uality of representational organization of
attachment of high ris* adolescent mothers. %npu3lished doctoral dissertationA +olum3ia
%niversit&A New BorkA New Bork
+ichettiA "A +ummingsA E#A 0reen3ergA #TA J #arvinA RS 4277>< An organizational
perspective on attachment 3e&ond in'anc&) .mplications 'or theor&A measurementA and
research .n # 0reen3ergA " +icchettiA J E +ummings 4Eds<A Attachment in the
preschool years2 Theory6 research and intervention 4pp ?-97< +hicago) %niversit& o'
+hicago !ress
+larkeA -A %ngererA *A +hahoudA IA *ohnsonA SA J Stie'elA . 4:>>:< Attention de'icit
h&peractivit& disorder is associated with attachment insecurit& 9linical 9hild
,sychology = ,sychiatry6 >/C06 267-275
@agotA B.A J IavanaghA I 4277>< The prediction o' antisocial 3ehavior 'rom avoidant
attachment classi'ications 9hild Development6 A:6 5=9-56?
@inziA RA RamA AA Har-EvenA "A ShnitA "A J DeizmanA A 4:>>2< Attachment st&les and
aggression in ph&sicall& a3used and neglected children <ournal of 1outh and
Adolescence6 ;?/A06 6=7-65=
0armez&A N 4275?< Stressors o' childhood .n N 0armez& J # Rutter 4Eds<A +tress6 coping
?6
Attachment and Externalizing Behaviors
and development in children 4pp 9?-59< New Bork) #c0raw-Hill
0$oneA HA J StevensonA * 42776< A longitudinal twin stud& o' temperament and 3ehavior
pro3lems) +ommon genetic or environmental in'luencesR <ournal of the American
Academy of 9hild = Adolescent ,sychiatry6 ;A/:?06 2995-29;=
0ouldA #SA BirdA HA *aramilloA BS 4277?< +orrespondence 3etween statisticall& derived
3ehavior pro3lem s&ndromes and child ps&chiatric diagnoses in a communit& sample.
<ournal of Abnormal 9hild ,sychology6 C:/;06 :56-?2?
0reen3ergA #TA J SpeltzA #- 42755< +ontri3utions o' attachment theor& to the
understanding o' conduct pro3lems during the preschool &ears .n * Belsk& J T
Nezworski 4Eds<A 9linical implications of attachment 4pp 266-:25< HillsdaleA N*)
Erl3aum
HinshawA S ! 4277:< Academic underachievementA attention de'icitsA and aggression)
+omor3idit& and implications 'or intervention <ournal of 9onsulting = 9linical
,sychology6 A?/A06 57?-7>?
HirschiA T 427=7< The causes of delin%uency. Berkele&A +A) %niversit& o' +ali'ornia !ress
IochanskaA 0A T$e3kesA T-A J @ormanA "R 42775< +hildrenFs emerging regulation o'
conduct) RestraintA complianceA and internalization 'rom in'anc& to the second &ear
9hild Development6 AB/D06 2?65-2?57
-adnierA R"A J #assanariA AE 4:>>>< Treating A"H" as attachment de'icit disorder .n
T# -ev& 4Ed<A (andboo* of attachment interventions 4pp :6-=;< San "iego)
Academic !ressA .nc
-ewisA #A @eiringA +A #c0u''ogA +A J *askirA * 42759< !redicting ps&chopatholog& in six-
&ear-olds 'rom earl& social relations 9hild Development6 DD6 2:?-2?=
?5
Attachment and Externalizing Behaviors
-oe3erA RA J "ishionA T 4275?< Earl& predictors o' male delinCuenc&) A review
,sychological Bulletin6 B;6 =5-77
#ainA # 42772< #etacognitive knowledgeA metacognitive monitoringA and singular 4coherent<
vs multiple 4incoherent< model o' attachment) @indings and directions 'or 'uture
research .n +# !arkesA * Stevenson-HindeA et al 4Eds<A Attachment across the li'e
c&cle 4pp 2:6-2;7<
#ainA #A J 0oldw&nA R 42759< !redicting re$ection o' her in'ant 'rom motherFs
representation o' her own experience) .mplications 'or the a3used-a3using
intergenerational c&cle 9hild Abuse and -eglect6 E6 :>?-:26
#ainA #A IaplanA NA J +assid&A * 4275;< Securit& in in'anc&A childhoodA and adulthood) A
move to the level o' representation .n . Bretherton J E Daters 4Eds<A 0rowing points
in attachment theor& and research. !onographs of the +ociety for #esearch in 9hild
Development6 D?6 ==-2>9
#aioA 0RA @inchamA @"A J -&cettA E* Attitudinal am3ivalence toward parents and
attachment st&le ,ersonality = +ocial ,sychology Bulletin6 CA/:C06 29;2-29=9
#cArdleA * * 4277=< +urrent directions in structural 'actor anal&sis 9urrent Directions in
,sychological +cience6 DA 22-25
#cArdleA * * J NesselroadeA *R 42779< Structuring data to stud& development and change
.nA SH +ohen J HD Reese 4Eds<A 3ife)+pan developmental psychology2
methodological innovation 4pp ::?-:=6< HillsdaleA N*) Erl3aum
#o''ittA TE 4277?< Adolescence-limited and li'e-course-persistent antisocial 3ehavior) A
developmental taxonom& ,sychological #evie$6 :??/F06 =69-6>2
#orettiA #A J 1dgersA + 4:>>:< Aggressive and violent girls) !revalenceA pro'ilesA and
?7
Attachment and Externalizing Behaviors
contri3uting 'actors .n RR +orradoA R RoeschA S" HartA J *I 0ierowski 4Eds<AA
!ulti)problem violent youth2 A foundation for comparative research on needs6
interventions6 and outcomes 4pp 22=-2:7< DashingtonA "+) .S1 !ress
#ossA EA RousseauA "A !arentA SA St--aurentA "A J SaintongeA * 42775< +orrelates o'
attachment at school age) #aternal reported stressA mother-child interactionA and 3ehavior
pro3lems 9hild Development6 AB/D06 2?7>-29>;
Ramos-#arcuseA @A J ArsenioA D@ 4:>>2< Boung childrenSs emotionall&-charged moral
narratives) Relations with attachment and 3ehavior pro3lems Early Education =
Development6 :C/C06 2=;-259
ReneknA BA EgelandA BA #arvinne&A "A #angelsdor'A SA J Srou'eA -A 42757< Earl&
childhood antecedents o' aggression and passive-withdrwal in earl& elementar& school
<ournal of ,ersonality6 D>6 :;6-:52
RiceA I0 4277>< Attachment in adolescence) A narrative and meta-anal&tic review <ournal
of 1outh and Adolescnce6 :B/D06 ;22-;?5
RichmanA EA 4275;< "isorders o' preschool children .n # Ruttner J - Hersov 4Eds<A
9hild and adolescent psychiatry2 !odern approaches. Boston) Blackwell Scienti'ic
!u3lications
Ro3insA -N 42772< +onduct disorder. <ournal of 9hild ,sychology and ,sychiatry and Allied
Disciplines6 ;C6 27?-:2:
Schar'eA E 4:>>:< Relia3ilit& and validit& o' an interview assessment o' attachment
representations in a clinical sample o' adolescents <ournal of Adolescent #esearch6 :>
/D06 ;?:-;;2
9>
Attachment and Externalizing Behaviors
SimonsA I*A !aterniteA +EA J ShoreA + 4:>>2< Tualit& o' parentEadolescent attachment and
aggression in &oung adolescents <ournal of Early adolescence6 C:/C06 25:-:>?
SmithA + A 42779< "is-attachment Australian = -e$ Gealand <ournal of ,sychiatry6 CE/F06
=72-=7?
SpeltzA #-A 0reen3ergA #TA J "ekl&enA # 4277>< Attachment in preschoolers with
disruptive 3ehavior) A comparison o' clinic-re'erred and nonpro3lem childrenH
Development = ,sychopathology6 C/:06 ?2-9=
Srou'eA -A 4275?< .n'ant-caregiver attachment and patterns o' adaptation in preschool) The
roots o' maladaptation and competence .n # !erlmutter 4Ed<A !innesota symposia on
child psychology 4(ol 2=A pp 92-52< HillsdaleA N*) Erl3aum
TetiA "#A J A3lardA IE 42757< Securit& o' attachment and in'ant-si3ling relationships) A
la3orator& stud& 9hild Development6 A?/A06 2;27-2;:5
TothA S-A J +icchettiA " 4277=< !atterns o' relatednessA depressive s&mptomolog&A and
perceived competence in maltreated children <ournal of 9onsulting and 9linical
,sychology6 AF6 ?:-92
(an .$zendoornA #H 4277;< Adult attachment representationsA parental responsivenessA and
in'ant attachment) A meta-anal&sis on the predictive validit& o' the Adult Attachment
.nterview ,sychological Bulletin6 ::>6 ?56-9>?
92
Attachment and Externalizing Behaviors
Ta3les J @igures
Ta3le 2 ,revalence of Attachment +tyles by +ample and &ender
K
High-risk
4- H
26><
Normative
4- H 29?<
P
:
d
f p
Secure
=; ;5>
75?
2
2
>>>
!reoccupied
:96 66
2;7
5
2
>>>
"ismissing
;79 ?:7
:27
=
2
>>>
Even split
79 29
7:> 2
>>:
#ale
4- H
26;<
@emale
4- H 2?5<
Secure
:;6 ?;;
?;: 2
>=2
!reoccupied
76 :=2
296
2
2
>>>
"ismissing
;62 ?95
2;9
5
2
>>>
Even split
69 ?=
:>= 2
2;2
9:
Attachment and Externalizing Behaviors
Ta3le : ,revalence of Attachment +tyles by &ender $ithin +amples
K
High-Risk
#ale
4- H
2>;<
@emale
4- H =;<
P
:
d
f p
Secure
6= 9=

99
2
???
!reoccupied
2;: 9>>

>>
2
>>>
"ismissing
==6 966

>2
2
>22
Even split
2>; 66

;;
2
?6=
Normative
#ale
4- H 6><
@emale
4- H 6?<
Secure
;:7 =?>

::
2
299
!reoccupied
29 2?6

>2
2
>>;
"ismissing
9:7 :??

>2
2
>2>
Even split
:7 >

2;
2
:?5
Ta3le ? 3evels of Externalizing Behavior by +ample and &ender
9?
Attachment and Externalizing Behaviors
!
High-risk Normative
" p
Attention !ro3lems
t
?: 2= 22>>: >>>
Aggressive Behavior
t t
?7 2> ::;99 >>>
"elinCuent Behavior
t
:? >6 262;2 >>>
#ale @emale
Attention !ro3lems
t
:; := >;7 99:
Aggressive Behavior
t t
:7 :9 ?52 >;:
"elinCuent Behavior
t
26 2; ?:5 >62
t
Scores are on a >-= scale
t t
Scores are on a >-2> scale
Ta3le 9 3evels of Externalizing Behavior by &ender $ithin +amples
!
Normative males Normative 'emales
" p
Attention !ro3lems
t
2; 26 2:2 :6?
Aggressive Behavior
t t
2: >7 259 26=
"elinCuent Behavior
t
>6 >= >5: ?==
High-risk males High-risk 'emales
Attention !ro3lems
t
?> ?9 ?7> >97
Aggressive Behavior
t t
?7 ?7 >>> 796
"elinCuent Behavior
t
:? :? >>> 776
t
Scores are on a >-= scale
t t
Scores are on a >-2> scale
99
Attachment and Externalizing Behaviors
Ta3le ; 3evels of Externalizing Behavior by Attachment +tyle
!
Secure Non-secure
" p
Attention !ro3lems
t
26 :6 :=;9 >>>
Aggressive Behavior
t t
2? ?2 925> >>>
"elinCuent Behavior
t
>5 25 ??;5 >>>
!reoccupied Non-preoccupied
Attention !ro3lems
t
?2 :9 2:?6 >>2
Aggressive Behavior
t t
?5 :; 2776 >>>
"elinCuent Behavior
t
:? 2; 22>2 >>2
"ismissing Non-dismissing
Attention !ro3lems
t
:; :; 2:6 :=>
Aggressive Behavior
t t
:6 :6 26; 256
"elinCuent Behavior
t
25 2; 97; >:6
t
Scores are on a >-= scale
t t
Scores are on a >-2> scale
9;
Attachment and Externalizing Behaviors
Ta3le = 3evels of Externalizing Behavior by Attachment +tyle in !ales and "emales
#ales @emales
! !
Secure Non-secure " p Secure Non-secure " p
Attention
!ro3lems
t
25 :; =>?
>2;
2= ?2 :5=;
>>>
Aggressive
Behavior
t t
2= :7 22?;
>>2
2> ?: ?9?:
>>>
"elinCuent
Behavior
t
22 27 2>>:
>>:
>= :> :?9:
>>>
!reoccupied Non-preoccupied !reoccupied Non-preoccupied
Attention
!ro3lems
t
?2 :: 9:;
>92
?: :9 =:;
>29
Aggressive
Behavior
t t
9: :9 7:5
>>?
?= :> 2:7=
>>>
"elinCuent
Behavior
t
:? 26 :5>
>7=
:? 2: 2>=2
>>2
"ismissing Non-dismissing "ismissing Non-dismissing
Attention
!ro3lems
t
:? :? >>2
7:9
?> :9 957
>:7
Aggressive
Behavior
t t
:= :; >27
==9
:5 :: 267
25?
"elinCuent
Behavior
t
27 2; 27=
2=?
25 29 :2>
2;>
t
Scores are on a >-= scale
t t
Scores are on a >-2> scale
9=
Attachment and Externalizing Behaviors
Ta3le 6 3evels of Externalizing Behavior by Attachment +tyle $ithin +ub)+amples Defined by
&ender and +ample
!
High-risk Normative
#ale @emale #ale @emale
Secure Non-secure Secure Non-secure Secure Non-secure Secure Non-secure
Attention
!ro3lems
t
?> :7 ?> ?; 2; 2? 2= ::
Aggressive
Behavior
t t
92 ?= 9> 9: 22 >7 >5 22
"elinCuent
Behavior
t
:? :9 26 := >7 >= >= >6
!reoccupied Non-
preoccupied
!reoccupied Non-
preoccupied
!reoccupied Non-
preoccupied
!reoccupied Non-
preoccupied
Attention
!ro3lems
t
?? :5 ?; ?; >> 2; :; 26
Aggressive
Behavior
t t
9? ?= 9; 9> :> 2> 2= >5
"elinCuent
Behavior
t
:; :9 :5 :9 >> >6 >7 >=
"ismissing Non-
dismissing
"ismissing Non-
dismissing
"ismissing Non-
dismissing
"ismissing Non-
dismissing
Attention
!ro3lems
t
:6 ?: ?= ?9 29 29 27 26
Aggressive
Behavior
t t
?9 9: ?7 99 2> 2> >5 >7
"elinCuent
Behavior
t
:9 :? :; := >= >5 >; >=
t
Scores are on a >-= scale
t t
Scores are on a >-2> scale
@igure 2 "actor !odel /-ormative +ample6 n H :EA0
96
Attachment and Externalizing Behaviors
@igure : "actor !odel /(igh #is* +ample6 n HC>:0
@igure ? +E! !odel /-ormative +ample0
95
Attachment and Externalizing Behaviors
@igure 9 +E! !odel /(igh #is* +ample0
97
Gender
Gender
Attachment and Externalizing Behaviors

;>