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Psicologia: Reflexão e Crítica

Print version ISSN 0102-7972


PEREIRA, Mariana et al. Development, psychopathology and attachment: an exploratory study with institutionalized children and their caregivers. Psicol. Reflex. Crit. [online]. 2010, vol.23, n.2, pp.222-231. ISSN 0102-7972.

This exploratory study examined mental development and the quality of socio-emotional functioning of 16 institutionalized children, aged from 3 to 6 years old, relating them with the quality of their caregivers' attachment narratives. Griffiths Developmental Scales, Child Behavior Checklist, Attachment Script Representation and Attachment Q-Sort were used in the psychological assessment. Results showed that chidren's developmental level was placed below normative data. Furthermore, data regarding externalizing and internalizing psychopathology symptoms were close to the clinical population. Nevertheless, and in contrast to our hypothesis, most children presented almost mormative attachments scores (secure base), but this was not related to the quality of attachement narratives presented by their caregivers. The implications of these findings are discussed in light of the impact of institutional deprivation in child development.

Keywords : Infancy; Institutionalization; Attachment; Development; Psychopathology.

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