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The list of books available on PEP Web is sorted alphabetically, with the exception of Freud’s Collected Works, Glossaries, and Dictionaries. You can find this list in the Books Section.

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Steele, M. Hodges, J. Kaniuk, J. Hillman, S. Henderson, K. (2003). Attachment Representations and Adoption: Associations between Maternal States of Mind and Emotion Narratives in Previously Maltreated Children. J. Child Psychother., 29(2):187-205.

(2003). Journal of Child Psychotherapy, 29(2):187-205

Attachment Representations and Adoption: Associations between Maternal States of Mind and Emotion Narratives in Previously Maltreated Children

Miriam Steele, Jill Hodges, Jeanne Kaniuk, Saul Hillman and Kay Henderson

This paper reports on associations observed between Adult Attachment Interviews (AAIs) obtained from adoptive mothers, and emotional themes appearing in doll play narratives obtained from their recently adopted children. The children, aged 4 — 8 years, carried into their adoptive placements a history of consistently serious maltreatment, including neglect and abuse. Results reveal strong and significant influences of maternal state of mind regarding attachment upon their adopted children's story-completions. Mothers whose AAIs were judged insecure (either dismissing or preoccupied) were likely to have adopted children who, three months after placement, provided story-completions with higher levels of aggressiveness as compared to the stories provided by children adopted by mothers with secure-autonomous AAIs. Children whose adoptive mothers provided AAIs indicative of unresolved (as opposed to resolved) mourning regarding past loss or trauma provided story completions with higher scores for emotional themes such as ‘parent appearing child-like’ and ‘throwing out or throwing away’. Results also include a qualitative section that provides narrative excerpts of maternal AAIs and children's story-completions. Discussion concerns the contribution these findings make to the literature on intergenerational transmission of attachment patterns, and the implications these findings have for child clinical work and social policy.

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