Attachment security may predict the development of competence by influencing how preschoolers solicit and receive help from their mothers during shared problem solving. Based on attachment and help-seeking literatures, we expected that preschoolers with lower security would request help more quickly and in unnecessary circumstances and express frustration and inability attributions more often than children with more secure attachments. Their mothers were expected to provide direct solutions rather than indirect assistance (e.g., hints). Thirty-six preschoolers (mean age 58 months; 17 boys, 19 girls) and their mothers were observed in manageable and difficult problem-solving tasks. As expected, children with lower security scores made more unnecessary help-seeking bids and inability statements, were more frustrated, and asked for help more quickly; differences were observed on easy and difficult tasks. Maternal behavior, however, did not differ.
Colman, Rebecca A. and Thompson, Ross A.
"Attachment Security and the Problem-
Solving Behaviors of Mothers and Children,"
Merrill-Palmer Quarterly: Vol. 48:
4, Article 2.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/mpq/vol48/iss4/2