An investigation of the security of caregiver attachment during middle childhood in children with high-functioning autistic disorder Academic Article uri icon


  • Previous research has investigated caregiver attachment relationships in children with autism during early childhood, with few differences found from matched control groups. However, little is known of this relationship during middle childhood (ages 8-12 years). In this study, the aim was to establish whether there are differences in the security of attachment in children with high-functioning autism compared to typically developing children. A secondary aim was to establish whether caregivers' perceptions of their child's attachment to them accorded with the children's own reports. Twenty-one children with high-functioning autism and 17 typically developing children were administered the Kerns Security Scale and the Inventory of Parent and Peer Attachment-Revised, and caregivers completed the same questionnaires from the viewpoint of their child. There were no differences between the groups in the children's and parents' reports of attachment security. Parents' and children's reports were moderately correlated on the Kerns Security Scale but were not correlated on the Inventory of Parent and Peer Attachment-Revised. The results indicate that levels of attachment security in children with high-functioning autism are not different from those in typically developing children.

publication date

  • 2014