By Klaus E. Grossmann PhD, Karin Grossmann PhD, Everett Waters PhD
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Extra resources for Attachment from Infancy to Adulthood: The Major Longitudinal Studies
Ambivalent” children described contradictory parental behaviors in response to the pictures. Finally, “fearful” children either remained completely silent or ascribed overwhelming fears to the pictured child. There was significant concordance between resourceful, inactive, ambivalent, and fearful classifications of separation pictures and children’s secure, avoidant, ambivalent, and disorganized infant–mother attachment patterns observed in the Strange Situation in infancy. Coherence, constructive resolutions, and emotional openness versus incoherence, bizarre resolutions, and emotional constriction in children’s picture responses turned out to be excellent predictors of observed reunion behaviors in these and a number of subsequent studies (for a review, see Solomon & George, 1999).
In the next section I offer selected findings from this literature. MEMORY AND REMINISCING RESEARCH As I have already mentioned, research during the past two to three decades has revealed that preschoolers’ narrative ability and understanding of relationships are far more advanced than had been assumed by Piaget (1951, The Internal Working Model Construct 31 1954). These findings contributed to my work on story completion tasks and my attempts to flesh out the working model construct (Bretherton, 1985, 1987, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1995; Bretherton & Munholland, 1999).
In a later publication, however, Bowlby (1988, p. 113) referred to defensive processes as “a spectrum of related syndromes with commoner and more severe forms,” perhaps hinting that the distinction between repression and dissociative processes is not always easy to make. Bowlby believed that young children before 3 years of age were especially vulnerable to conditions instigating defensive processes (1980, p. 72), but he also held that adolescents and adults continued to remain at risk. Relying on clinical case studies, he contended that when parents reject, ignore, or ridicule their children’s attachment behavior in highly stressful or traumatic situations, the children may respond by repressing these experiences, especially if parents also insist that their rejecting behavior be seen as caring and the child him- or herself as incompetent or bad (1973, p.