The current study’s aim was to assess the contribution of empathic perspective-taking to the relationship between attachment security and children’s risk of maladjustment. A sample of 212 preschoolers aged 3–5 years old was included in this study. Children completed the Attachment Story Completion Task and a modified version of the Kids’ Empathic Development Scale. Teachers and parents rated children’s externalizing/internalizing problems by employing the Caregiver-Teacher Report Form, and the Child Behavior Checklist, respectively. Results supported the notion that the indirect path from attachment security to externalizing problems was negatively mediated by empathic perspective-taking related to negative (but not positive) emotions. Similarly, the same component of empathic perspective-taking negatively mediated the relationship between attachment security and internalizing problems. These findings indicate that empathic perspective-taking in relation to negative emotions might serve to promote preschoolers’ reduced risk of mental health problems.
Ştefan, Catrinel A. and Avram, Julie
"Attachment and Externalizing/Internalizing Problems in Preschoolers: Contributions of Positive and Negative Empathic Perspective-Taking,"
Merrill-Palmer Quarterly: Vol. 67:
2, Article 1.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/mpq/vol67/iss2/1