The significance of insecure attachment and disorganization in the development of children's externalizing behavior: A meta-analytic study
Fearon, R. P., Bakermans-Kranenburg, M. J., van IJzendoorn, M. H., Lapsley, A.-M. and Roisman, G. I. (2010) The significance of insecure attachment and disorganization in the development of children's externalizing behavior: A meta-analytic study. Child Development, 81 (2). pp. 435-456. ISSN 0009-3920
To link to this article DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2009.01405.x
This study addresses the extent to which insecure and disorganized attachments increase risk for externalizing problems using meta-analysis. From 69 samples (N = 5,947), the association between insecurity and externalizing problems was significant, d = 0.31 (95% CI: 0.23, 0.40). Larger effects were found for boys (d = 0.35), clinical samples (d = 0.49), and from observation-based outcome assessments (d = 0.58). Larger effects were found for attachment assessments other than the Strange Situation. Overall, disorganized children appeared at elevated risk (d = 0.34, 95% CI: 0.18, 0.50), with weaker effects for avoidance (d = 0.12, 95% CI: 0.03, 0.21) and resistance (d = 0.11, 95% CI: −0.04, 0.26). The results are discussed in terms of the potential significance of attachment for mental health.