Van Ijzendoorn & Kroonenberg's research

  • Created by: Reece
  • Created on: 21-04-13 17:31

Research procedures and findings

They conducted a META ANALYSIS of 32 studies in 8 different countries. The research included western cultures (UK, US) and eastern cultures (Japan, Israel)

They found:

Secure attchment was the most common attachment type in all cultures (same as what ainsworth found.)

However of the two insecure attachment types they found that insecure avoidant attachment was the more common in western (individualistic) cultures


In eastern cultures insecure resistant was the most common form of insecure attachment.

They also found that variation within a country was 1.5 times larger than between cultures. This suggests that we cannot assume that all infants are raised in exactly the same way in a particular country.

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Research Conclusions

They concluded that the finding that secure attachment is the most common across all cultures shows that there are universal features of infant and care giver interactions.

This supports the idea that secure attachment is the best for healthy psychological development.However the variations in insecure attachment show that universality is limited.

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Evaluation points for Van Ijzendoorn & Kroonenberg

Methodological issues:

   A criticism of this research is that the meta analysis only included 32 studies, half of which were conducted in the US with only 1 being conducted in China using only 36 infants.

Overall 27 studies were from individualistic cultures and only 5 from collectivist cultures. This suggests that their research isn't representative of the whole population.

Not a valid measure of attachment in all cultures:

Another criticism of this research is that the 'strange situation' was created in the US and therefore reflects the culture and norms of the US. Takahashi suggested that this method wasn't suitable for measuring attachment in Japanese mothers and infants. In her own study she found similar levels of secure attachment but found Japanese infants showed no avoidant behaviour but high levels of resistant attachment.

Infants were particularly distresses when left alone but this behaviour may be due to the fact that Japanese infants are rarely separated from their mothers resulting in  more 'appearing' to be insecurely attached leading to a falsely high number being classed as resistant.

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Van Ijzendoorn & Kroonenberg evaluation points (co

It is too simplistic to assume that the US and UK are one culture as within each culture

there are many sub cultures based on ethnicity and class that may differ in attachment

types. Therefore the findings may not accurately represent the cultures they claim to. This

results in cross cultural comparisons lacking validity. This is supported by Van

Ijzendoorn & Kroonenberg's finding that variation within a country is 1.5 times larger than

between cultures.

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Clinical Characteristics- depression (val+Rel)

  • Depression is a mood disorder characterised by sadness.
  • DSM requires 5 or more symptoms- (one must be sadness or loss of pleasure in activities.)
  • Symptoms must occur for atleast 2 weeks.

Emotional symptoms- sadness, depresed mood

Behavioural symptoms- Social withdrawal

Physical symptoms- change in sleep patterns or appetite

Cognitive symptoms- lack of concentration, lowered self esteem

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