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Psicologia: Reflexão e Crítica
On-line version ISSN 1678-7153
SANINI, Cláudia; FERREIRA, Gabriela Damasceno; SOUZA, Thiago Spillari and BOSA, Cleonice Alves. Attachment behaviors in children with autism. Psicol. Reflex. Crit. [online]. 2008, vol.21, n.1, pp. 60-65. ISSN 1678-7153. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-79722008000100008.
This study investigated the attachment behaviors in children with autism. Ten boys with autism, 10 boys with Down syndrome and 10 boys with typical development who were around 4 years old, participated in the study. A free-play session, which consisted of five episodes, was used to observe the interactive behaviors between the child and the mother, and also an unfamiliar person (the stranger). No significant differences were found among the three groups concerning most of the attachment behaviors. However, the children with autism presented a higher frequency of avoidant behavior, only in the first episode. The comparison of differences inside the group showed that children with autism interacted more with their mothers than with the stranger. These results show the attachment behavior among autistic children with their mothers and the advantages of using a coding system that takes into account the particularities of this behavior.
Keywords : Autism; attachment; mother-children interaction.