Early attachment predicts emotion recognition at 6 and 11 years old
AbstractThis paper reports on findings from a sample of 63 children at 6 years old, and 49 children at 11 years old, all from the same cohort who had been observed with mother in the Strange Situation at 1-year-old. At 6 and 11 years, the children responded to the task of providing verbal labels for line-drawn (caricatures of) emotion faces. The faces comprised the six basic emotions identified as such by Darwin (sadness, happiness, anger, fear, surprise, and disgust) as well as a neutral face and two more complex (blended) emotions (mischievousness and disappointment). Infant-mother attachment was linked significantly with children's emotion judgments 5 years and, to a lesser extent, 10 years after the Strange Situation assessment. Results are discussed in terms of the long-term but attenuating influence of early learning experiences in the relationship with mother, and implications for how we think about the functioning of internal working models of attachment.