Infant attachment in the Czech Republic: Categorical and dimensional findings from a post-communist country

Masopustová Z, Tancoš M, Fikrlová J, Lacinová L, Hanáčková V.

Infant Behav Dev. 2023 Mar 20;71:101835. doi:10.1016/j.infbeh.2023.101835. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 36947962.


4 Apr 2023

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Infant attachment remains virtually unexplored in former Eastern Bloc countries. The dimensional approach to infant attachment, which could ease common obstacles in cross-cultural attachment research, necessitates more empirical support. This study explores infant attachment in the Czech Republic, a post-communist country with a unique family policy, using both the categorical and the dimensional models. It also compares the Czech infant attachment distribution to infant attachment distributions in other countries and compares infant attachment distributions in European countries to the Baltimore study sample. In the Strange Situation Procedure, forty-nine (74 %) out of sixty-six mother-infant dyads (35 boys, M = 13.8, SD = 0.9) received the B classification. Despite the generous family policy and cultural emphasis on close mother-infant relationships, the Czech distribution of insecure categories did not differ from the Baltimore study sample. Out of other post-communist countries, only the infant attachment distribution in former East Germany differed from the Czech and the Baltimore study samples due to a lower proportion of type B and a higher proportion of type A infants. There were also more type A infants in the Italian sample. Interactive behavior scales accurately predicted attachment categories in 91 % of cases. Contact-maintenance and proximity-seeking scales substantially improve the assessment of insecure resistant behavior. Our findings support the universality and normativity of attachment and the utility of the dimensional approach.

Keywords: Dimensional approach; Infant attachment; Interactive Behavior Scales; Strange Situation Procedure.

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