Attachment and symbolic play in preschoolers with autism spectrum disorders

Inbal Marcu, David Oppenheim, Nina Koren-Karie, Smadar Dolev, Nurit Yirmiya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

The association between attachment and symbolic play was examined in a sample of 45 preschool age boys with autism spectrum disorders. Attachment was assessed using the strange situation procedure, and the frequency, duration, diversity and complexity of child-initiated symbolic play was assessed from observations of mother-child interactions during free play and doll play. We hypothesized that children with secure attachments will score higher on measures of symbolic play compared to children with insecure attachments, and that children with organized attachments will also score higher on measures of symbolic play compared to children with disorganized attachments. Only the second hypothesis received support, and the reasons for this, as well as the implications of the findings for attachment theory, are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1321-1328
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Volume39
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2009
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Attachment
  • Autism
  • Symbolic play

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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