This book describes effective ways to conceptualize and measure attachment in 6- to 12-year-olds--a period when children are increasingly independent yet still rely on parents for care. Presented are longitudinal data that illuminate whether the quality of attachment in middle childhood can be predicted by assessments earlier in life, and what variables may explain change over time. Also examined are the implications of attachment for children's social and emotional functioning, their academic development, and the later emergence of adolescent problems.
"This is an impressive and coherent overview of a hitherto neglected age range in attachment research. Description of the dramatically changing developmental processes and social context of middle childhood forms a background for considering issues of attachment assessment and validation, continuity and change, and social and emotional adjustment. The final 'commentary' chapter amplifies these themes, making a substantial contribution to attachment theory as well as empirical research. Setting an agenda for future work in the field, this book is essential reading for anyone interested in attachment. I recommend it for advanced undergraduate and graduate courses, as well as research workers."--Joan Stevenson-Hinde, ScD, Sub-Department of Animal Behavior, Cambridge University, UK
"This is a book that many developmentalists have been waiting for. The thoughtfully put-together chapters clearly address crucial questions: What facets of middle childhood influence the nature of attachment relationships, and how do they do so? Given this fresh point of view on attachment during middle childhood, how can we measure it with fidelity? The innovative approaches taken by the chapter authors allow for beginning answers to these questions and set up research agendas likely to lead to fruitful investigations in years to come. As such, the volume will be useful to upper-level undergraduates, graduate students, and, not least, developmentalists looking to broaden the scope of their thinking and empirical work."--Susanne Denham, PhD, Department of Psychology, George Mason University
"Attachment theory, from its earliest days, has contained the notion that attachment characterizes humans 'from the cradle to the grave.' Yet although much is known about attachment not only in infants and young children but also in adolescents and adults, a striking gap exists in our knowledge about the period of middle childhood. This comprehensive volume presents outstanding contributions from those who pioneered the examination of attachment in middle childhood. It provides much-needed theoretical, methodological, and empirical insight into this important but long-neglected developmental period."--Jude Cassidy, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of Maryland, College Park