Secure Base Script Stability and Early Childhood Competence
Type of DegreeMaster's Thesis
Human Development and Family Science
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Internal representations of attachment inform children about themselves and the world around them and shape the expectations they have for relationships. Secure representations of attachment – measured by the secure base script – have been linked to positive functioning in several domains of early childhood development, including social competence and executive functioning. The present study used both cross-sectional and longitudinal preschool samples to assess the influence of secure base script access on domains of adaptive functioning in early childhood. Differences across ages three and four were also examined. Better secure base script access predicted positive functioning in several domains and the relationships differed between younger and older children. The secure base script was found to be moderately stable over time, and while script scores at Time 1 were significantly associated with adaptive functioning constructs at Time 2, Time 1 secure base script did not predict subsequent functioning, nor did Time 2 script scores mediate the relationship. This study also included a replication of Nichols et al. (2019) with the addition of an additional year of data. The results of Nichols et al. were partially replicated. The results of this study offer further support for the notion that secure attachment representations are informative for early childhood adaptation and that child age plays a role in that relationship.