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Relationship among temporary separation, attachment styles, and adjustment in first-grade Iranian children

Authors Tahmasebi S, Mafakheri Bashmaq S, Karimzadeh M, Teymouri R, Amini M, vaghefi MSM, Mazaheri MA

Received 5 April 2016

Accepted for publication 20 September 2016

Published 8 December 2016 Volume 2016:9 Pages 339—346


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Igor Elman

Siyamak Tahmasebi,1 Saman Mafakheri Bashmaq,2 Mansoureh Karimzadeh,3 Robab Teymouri,4 Mahdi Amini,5 Maryam Sadat M vaghefi,6 M Ali Mazaheri7

1Department of Preschool Education, University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences, Tehran, Iran; 2Department of Psychology and Exceptional Children’s Education, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Allameh Tabataba’i University, Tehran, Iran; 3Department of Preschool Education, Pediatric Neurorehabilitation Research Center, University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences, Tehran, Iran; 4Pediatric Neurorehabilitation Research Center, University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences, Tehran, Iran; 5Addiction Department, Center of Excellence in Psychiatry and Clinical Psychology, School of Behavioral Sciences and Mental Health, Institute of Tehran Psychiatry, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran; 6Department of Speech Therapy, University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences, Tehran, Iran; 7Department of Clinical Psychology, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran

Abstract: If mothers work outside the home, some degree of mother–child separation will be experienced and mother–child attachment will be affected. In this study, regarding the attachment styles, sociobehavioral problems in first-grade children with experience of preschool and in those taught by their mothers at-home are compared. A casual-comparative method was used to compare children in the two groups. A total of 320 first-grade children participated in the study. The study measures included a separation anxiety test, an adaptive behavior scale, and a children’s symptom inventory. Data were analyzed using multivariate statistics. Secure attachment in the group with experience of preschool was significantly higher than that in the at-home group. None of the variables, including parents’ education and father’s income, significantly affected attachment style. Neither father’s education, father’s income, or attachment significantly influenced adjustment. Father’s education significantly influenced children’s symptoms. Attachment style and hours of preschool attendance had no effect on Child Symptom Inventory scores. Associations among age at joining preschool, attachment style, and behavioral and adaptive problems in first-grade children were nonlinear and multivariate. By taking into account parents’ awareness, sensitivity, and responsiveness, relative welfare, appropriate quality of child-care centers, and having fewer hours of preschool attendance, the risk factors for early parent–child separation and institutional care can be reduced.

Keywords: separation, attachment, adjustment, pathological symptoms, first-grade children

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