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1 2 Number of risks

Figure 3.7 Mean problem behavior scores as a function of attachment classification (A: Insecure-Avoidant, B: Secure, C: Insecure-Resistant) and degree of cumulative contextual risk (0: no risk, 1: low risk, 2: moderate risk, 3: high risk).

1 2 Number of risks

Figure 3.7 Mean problem behavior scores as a function of attachment classification (A: Insecure-Avoidant, B: Secure, C: Insecure-Resistant) and degree of cumulative contextual risk (0: no risk, 1: low risk, 2: moderate risk, 3: high risk).

group showing a marked decrease in performance under conditions of two risks (see Figure 3.8). In a sense, then, the avoidant group proved more vulnerable to contextual risk—at least at a lower level of risk—than children in all other groups. When levels of risk became especially high, however, even a history of attachment security failed to protect children from the adverse effects of growing up in a de-velopmentally adverse environment, at least with respect to the development of social competence.

To summarize, then, it appears that security and insecurity afford children, respectively, developmental benefits and costs, but that in some cases these depend on (a) the type of insecurity the child manifests and (b) the ecological circumstances under which children grow up. Recall that when ecological circumstances were especially undermining of developmental well being, even secure attachment did not always function to protect the child's well being, and that it was a history of insecure-avoidant attachment that proved especially undermining of competent functioning, at least at 3 years of age. Exactly why a history of insecure-resistant attachment did not carry the same developmental costs as a history of insecure-avoidant attachment remains, for the time being, unclear.

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Joy Of Modern Parenting Collection

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