AS Psychology: Attachment - Van Ijzendoorn et al.

All you could ever want to know about Van Ijzendoorn and Kroonenburgs' meta-analysis, cross-cultural study of The Strange Situation!

Well, I say 'all you could ever want to know' but, really you might want to check your own notes, too, and ask your teacher if you get stuck! I may miss things, you see. And i don't want you to blame me.

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APFC: Aim, Procedure, Findings, Critisms

I will be referring to the Strange Situation in a way that presume you know what the S.S is, so if you are not sure, please feel free to look at my notes on it, to catch up! 


Van Ijzendoorn and Kroonenburg (1988)


To estimate the true effect size as opposed to a less precise effect size in a single study.


  • Observed over 2000 children in 32 studies from 8 different countries
  • Used the same standardised procedure as Ainsworth and Bell's Strange Situation
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APFC: Aim, Procedure, Findings,Critisms


  • The patterns for each type of attachment were similar between countaries.
  • Except in West Germany, who had a higher lever of Type A: Avoidant.
  • And in Israel where they had a higher level of Type C: Resistant
  • Most children where securely attached.

                                                             % Attachment Type

Country                             Avoidant                   Secure                       Resistant

  • Great Britain                    22%                      75%                               3%
  • Japan                              5%                        68%                              27%
  • USA                                21%                      65%                              14%
  • Israel                               7%                        64%                              29%
  • West Germany                 35%                      57%                              8%

It is important to know about West Germany, Israel, and GB! Make sure you know what you're talking about!

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APFC: Aim, Procedure, Findings, Critisms



  • Reliable in comparrison with Ainsworth and Bell's findings, 
  • Followed the Aisworth et Al. Studies' standardised procedure (see Strange Situation strenghts)
  • High External Validity: Findings can be generalised more as it takes more people into account


  • May be slightly biased, as there is no explanation as to why there is differation, just says there is.
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Evaluating Van Ijzendoorn et al's study

Van Ijzendoor and Kroonenburg's study is convincing because ...

  • They studiesd 2000 children, meaning lots of data from different areas, making it easily generalisable
  • It is a meta-analysis done cross-culturally, over 8 different countrys being studied, taking cross-cultural variations into account. 
  • Shows that Ainsworth and Bell's original findings were accurate, suggesting high reliability and validity.

Van Ijzendoor and Kroonenburg's study is important because ...

  • Supports Ainsworth & Bell's findings, but also cross-culturally
  • Informs us of how different culture's child-reating practices may affect the way children behave, and their Attachment Type
  • Shows us that the measure we use to categorise attachment behaviour may not be appropriate in every setting: For example, in Japan, mothers were so destraught by the experiment, they had to intervene with the proccess. 

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Evaluating Van Ijzendoorn et al's study

Van Ijzendoorn and Kroonenburg's study is benefitial because ...

  • It informs our understanding of attachment behaviour or practices cross-culturally and therefore helpds us to have a less ethnocentric view of attachment
  • It suggests more appropriate attachment measures should be devised for particular cultures.

(I know a lot of these on the last 2 pages are repeats, but shh! Nobody has to know! :D )

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