The effect of extremely preterm birth on attachment organization in late adolescence
Article first published online: 3 MAY 2011
© 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Child: Care, Health and Development
Volume 38, Issue 2, pages 196–203, March 2012
How to Cite
Hallin, A.-L., Bengtsson, H., Frostell, A. S. and Stjernqvist, K. (2012), The effect of extremely preterm birth on attachment organization in late adolescence. Child: Care, Health and Development, 38: 196–203. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2214.2011.01236.x
- Issue published online: 2 FEB 2012
- Article first published online: 3 MAY 2011
- Accepted for publication 6 December 2010
Background Prior studies have examined the impact of preterm birth on the quality of the attachment relationship to the mother in infancy, but few have examined extremely preterm born infants and almost no data have been reported on prematurity and its impact on the attachment organization attained after childhood.
Methods Thirty-nine adolescents born extremely preterm and 39 full-term born control participants were assessed with the Adult Attachment Interview.
Results The prematurely born showed lower scores regarding measures of attachment security and, in particular, a higher proportion of insecure dismissive patterns. This difference seemed to be clear and persistent even when controlled for intelligence and socio-economic variables.
Conclusions Because insecure attachment as well as prematurity may be considered as significant risk factors for developing psychopathology, they deserve careful attention in future research and clinical follow-ups.