Child Psychiatry and Human Development

, Volume 34, Issue 4, pp 317-328

Strengths and Difficulties as Correlates of Attachment Style in Institutionalized and Non-Institutionalized Children with Below-Average Intellectual Abilities

  • Peter MurisAffiliated withDepartment of Medical, Clinical, and Experimental Psychology, Maastricht University Email author 
  • , Anneke MaasAffiliated with

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The current study examined attachment style, strengths, and difficulties in institutionalized and non-institutionalized children with below-average intellectual abilities. Parents/caregivers and teachers of the children completed a brief measure of attachment style and the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire, which assesses the most important domains of child psychopathology (i.e., emotional symptoms, conduct problems, hyperactivity-inattention, and peer problems) as well as personal strengths (i.e., prosocial behavior). Results indicated that institutionalized children were more frequently insecurely attached and generally displayed higher levels of difficulties and lower levels of strengths than non-institutionalized children. Furthermore, within both groups of children, insecure attachment status was linked to higher levels of difficulties but lower levels of strengths.

attachment strengths and difficulties intellectually impaired children