Cross cultural differences in attachment

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Cross cultural differences in attachment

Two main types of cultures:

  • Individualist cultures value independence with each working to their own individual goals e.g. USA or Europe (Western cultures)
  • Collectivist cultures value cooperation with each working towards the family or group goals e.g. Japan and Israel (Eastern cultures)

Van Ijzendoorn and Kroonenberg (1988)


  • To investigate the types of attachment across cultures and to see how the 3 main attachment styles applied
  • To investigate if attachment styles are universalor culturally specific due to traditions, the social environment or beliefs about children


Analysed data from other studies using a meta-analysis. Data taken from 32 studies in 8 countries, all the studies used the strange situation procedure. They calculated the average percentage for the different attachment styles. The countries were the UK, USA, West Germany, Japan, China, Israel, Holland and Sweden.


UK- 22% avoidant, 75% secure, 3% resistant

Israel- 7% avoidant, 64% secure, 29% resistant

Japan- 5% avoidant, 68% secure, 27% resistant

West Germany- 35% avoidant, 57% secure, 8% resistant

It was found that secure attachment was the most common type of attachment…


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