The few studies available on quality of attachment in school-age children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) exclusively used questionnaires assessing explicit attachment representations. Thus, in the current study we assessed both explicit and implicit attachment representations in 23 children with ASD (without intellectual disability), 22 with learning disabilities and 27 with typical development aged from 7 to 13 years. A self-reported measure on the quality of attachment to parents and a semi-structured interview were administered to the children. In addition, a developmental assessment of the child including measures of intelligence and social-communication impairment was conducted. Despite the lack of group differences on explicit attachment representations, we found that children with ASD showed higher rates of at-risk self-protective strategies and psychological trauma compared to the TD group. Children with SLD also showed a high level of at-risk implicit attachment representations than TD, albeit to a lesser extent compared to children with ASD. These results may be related to several factors associated with ASD impairment and developmental pathways, such as the atypical learning process which occur at interpersonal level, the difficulties in social information processing and reflective functioning. Our findings suggested that children with ASD may experience difficulties in the construction of balanced implicit attachment representations. Thus, a more comprehensive assessment of attachment including both implicit and explicit representations is recommended.

Explicit and implicit attachment representations in cognitively able school-age children with autism spectrum disorder: A window to their inner world / Giannotti, Michele; Bentenuto, Arianna; Venuti, Paola; De Falco, Simona. - In: CLINICAL CHILD PSYCHOLOGY AND PSYCHIATRY. - ISSN 1359-1045. - STAMPA. - 2022, 27:4(2022), pp. 1048-1064. [10.1177/13591045221113390]

Explicit and implicit attachment representations in cognitively able school-age children with autism spectrum disorder: A window to their inner world

Michele Giannotti;Arianna Bentenuto;Paola Venuti;Simona de Falco
2022-01-01

Abstract

The few studies available on quality of attachment in school-age children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) exclusively used questionnaires assessing explicit attachment representations. Thus, in the current study we assessed both explicit and implicit attachment representations in 23 children with ASD (without intellectual disability), 22 with learning disabilities and 27 with typical development aged from 7 to 13 years. A self-reported measure on the quality of attachment to parents and a semi-structured interview were administered to the children. In addition, a developmental assessment of the child including measures of intelligence and social-communication impairment was conducted. Despite the lack of group differences on explicit attachment representations, we found that children with ASD showed higher rates of at-risk self-protective strategies and psychological trauma compared to the TD group. Children with SLD also showed a high level of at-risk implicit attachment representations than TD, albeit to a lesser extent compared to children with ASD. These results may be related to several factors associated with ASD impairment and developmental pathways, such as the atypical learning process which occur at interpersonal level, the difficulties in social information processing and reflective functioning. Our findings suggested that children with ASD may experience difficulties in the construction of balanced implicit attachment representations. Thus, a more comprehensive assessment of attachment including both implicit and explicit representations is recommended.
2022
4
Giannotti, Michele; Bentenuto, Arianna; Venuti, Paola; De Falco, Simona
Explicit and implicit attachment representations in cognitively able school-age children with autism spectrum disorder: A window to their inner world / Giannotti, Michele; Bentenuto, Arianna; Venuti, Paola; De Falco, Simona. - In: CLINICAL CHILD PSYCHOLOGY AND PSYCHIATRY. - ISSN 1359-1045. - STAMPA. - 2022, 27:4(2022), pp. 1048-1064. [10.1177/13591045221113390]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11572/350920
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