Parental Closeness and Attachment in Biological and Adopted Children

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Broxterman, Joel
Washburn University
Issue Date
April 28, 2016
Alternative Title
From the moment of birth, interactions between parents and the infant form an attachment style that will define the levels of anxiety and avoidance one has in close relationships. Placing a child within a family is a lifelong journey with life altering consequences. One of those consequences is the degree to which parental closeness is experienced by the adoptive child. The current study investigated the relationship between attachment styles and parental closeness to better understand if adopted children display different levels of attachment and closeness than children raised by their biological parents. Attachment styles are developed during childhood as a result of patterns of interactions with parents, and encompass information about the self, others and relationships; defining the level of anxiety and avoidance one has in regards to close relationships. Parental closeness consists of the child’s ability to talk about worries, shared leisure time, and joint discussions with their parents. Relationships were hypothesized between participants’ level of anxiety-related attachment, avoidance-related attachment, and parental closeness. While the present study did not identify significant differences between biological and adopted children, a statistically significant result for anxiety-related attachment and parental closeness with the father figure was identified across the full sample.