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Assessing the impact of school nurture groups: Do they change children's attachment representations of their parents?

Levi, N.; (2006) Assessing the impact of school nurture groups: Do they change children's attachment representations of their parents? Doctoral thesis , University of London. Green open access

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This review considers the concept of attachment and the range of processes it influences such as mentalisation, affect regulation and attentional control. Narrative measures of attachment for 4 to 7 year old children are reviewed to examine the extent to which they appear to measure attachment and overlapping processes. Wider issues in the use of narrative assessments in this age group are also reflected on. It appears that different measures are appropriate for exploring different kinds of research questions. Narrative measures of attachment representations for this age group vary in their ability to assess attachment, but findings together indicate theoretically consistent relationships between narratives and other indicators of attachment. However, in order to gain a wider sense of a child's internal world, measures need to be developed to tap more of the significant processes related to attachment. In their current form, narrative measures of attachment appear most useful in combination with other methods of measurement. Methods Literature searches were carried out using the Medline, Psychinfo and Embase search engines (1960 - 2006). The terms 'attachment', 'representations', 'narrative assessment', 'narratives', 'stories', 'doll-play', 'stories' and 'children' were used to generate citations, individually and in combination. The generated list of studies was supplemented by a review of their reference lists. Particular attention was given to seminal articles which had created and validated the various measures. Articles were included in this review on the following grounds: 1. The studies had used a narrative measure to assess children's attachment representations. 2. Measures had been used with children aged 4 to 7 years of age. Results A total of 51 studies were identified from searches. However from this number there were only 17 citations to studies which appeared relevant to the review, based on the above criteria. Relevant references from these articles were obtained to generate further articles of interest. Four narrative measures of attachment representations were selected as being of interest related to the above criteria (the Separation Anxiety Test, the Narrative Story Stem Technique, the Manchester Child Attachment Story Task and the Dolls House Play Task). Fourteen key articles were found which were related to the Separation Anxiety Test (SAT). Articles employing a variation of the 'Narrative Story Stem Technique' (NSST) were too numerous to examine. Therefore, studies which had used the measures were reviewed if they had tested reasonably high numbers of participants and appeared to be regarded in the field as particularly relevant, as reflected by frequent citations. Studies using the NSST have examined a wide range of phenomena, so only those examining representations which were most relevant to attachment status were selected. In total 39 articles utilising the NSST were reviewed. Only two relevant articles were found which were related to the Manchester Child Attachment Story Task (MCAST) due to the recency of its creation. Two articles were found which were related to the Dolls House Play Task (DHPT), however one of these was not related to the measurement of attachment. Three literature reviews were examined, however none provided a comprehensive review of all measures (Cassidy & Shaver, 1999, Oppenheim & Waters, 1995 Woolgar, 1999).

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Assessing the impact of school nurture groups: Do they change children's attachment representations of their parents?
Identifier: PQ ETD:592992
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by Proquest
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1445668
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