Document Type

Article

Publication Date

January 2016

Publication Title

Social Behavior and Personality

Abstract

We examined the association between mother–child attachment and social withdrawal in Chinese urban children. Participants in the 1.5-year longitudinal study were 142 Chinese children (74 boys, 68 girls), who were initially aged between 6 and 10 years. Self-reported mother–child attachment style was measured at Time 1 and Time 2. Two subtypes of social withdrawal (i.e., shyness and unsociability) were measured by self-rating and peer nomination at Time 2. Regression analysis showed that attachment style predicted a different subtype of social withdrawal. Early secure and ambivalent attachment were associated negatively and positively, respectively, with self-reported shyness. Current (Time 2) avoidant attachment was positively associated with both self-reported and peer-rated unsociability, whereas current ambivalent attachment was negatively associated with self-reported unsociability. The findings underscore a specific connection between attachment style and social withdrawal subtype.

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