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Attachment to Parents during Middle Childhood, Self-Perceptions, and Anxiety

Nebi Sümer, Meltem Anafarta Şendağ
2009; 24(63):86-101

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The current study examines the impact of attachment to parents during middle childhood on the domains of self- perceptions and anxiety. It was expected that attachment to mother and father will have differential effects in predict- ing self-perceptions in various domains (scholastic competence, athletic competence, social acceptance, physical appearance, and, behavioral conduct), global self-worth, and anxiety. Furthermore, a mediational model suggesting that attachment to parents predicts anxiety via self-perceptions was tested. Within this framework, reliability and validity of Kerns’ Security Scale (KSS; developed by Kerns, Klepac & Cole, 1996) were also examined for Turkish sample. Fifth and 6th grade students (N = 194) completed scales on the self-perception domains, attachment, and anxiety. Results revealed satisfactory psychometric qualities for the KSS for the Turkish sample. Secure attachment to mother and father uniquely associated with positive evaluations in all self-domains and low levels of anxiety. In addition, the interaction between mother and father attachment significantly predicted the perception of physical appearance and global self-worth. Lastly, findings supported the proposed model suggesting that self-perceptions mediate the link between attachment and anxiety. Results were discussed considering the increasing importance of attachment to father during middle childhood.

Keywords: Attachment, middle childhood, anxiety, self-perceptions