Mental representations of attachment in child welfare professionals [electronic resource] /Show full item record
|Title||Mental representations of attachment in child welfare professionals [electronic resource] /|
|Author||Call, Casey Diane|
|Description||Title from dissertation title page (viewed Apr 27, 2012).
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Texas Christian University, 2012.
Department of Psychology; advisor, David R. Cross.
Includes bibliographical references.
Text (electronic thesis) in PDF.
Previous research has documented how case managers' behavior is influenced by their mental representations of attachment (secure or insecure; Dozier et al., 1994). However, at least one study has demonstrated that attachment-related and employment-related discourse were not associated (Crowell et al., 1996). The current study explores the relationship between attachment and employment discourse in child welfare professionals. Participants included 44 child welfare professionals who were well educated (64% had a Masters or Doctorate degree) with most having at least five years experience working with families (81%). Prior to a professional workshop, the Adult Attachment Interview (AAI) was administered and pre-training assignments (pre-modules) were completed. Using Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC; Pennebaker, Francis, & Booth, 2007), a text-analysis software, both the AAI and the pre-modules were analyzed.^The results revealed no significant associations among the AAI LIWC and the pre-modules LIWC providing support for both the complexity involved in scoring the AAI and validation of the integrity of the AAI in its ability to activate the attachment system, bringing evidence of a person's attachment-based working model to the forefront of the discourse. Results also indicated few associations between the AAI three-way distribution and LIWC analysis on both the AAI (word count; F=3.41, p<.05) and the pre-modules (affective processes; F=3.69, p<.05). In addition, results indicated significant differences between the AAI distribution of child welfare professionals and a non-clinical norm (AAI three-way distribution: Goodness of fit &chi2 =24.56, p<.01; Bakermans-Kranenburg & van IJzendoorn, 2009). Dismissing classifications were overrepresented and free-autonomous classifications were underrepresented.^These results may indicate challenges in the child welfare system that could alter the effectiveness and decision-making processes of child welfare professionals. Further research is needed to evaluate whether these differences are typical for samples of child welfare professionals and if so, the impact it could have on families who are being served. Effective interventions, focused on shifting attachment from insecure to secure, for child welfare professionals also should be explored through further research.
Attachment behavior in children.
Child welfare workers.
Social work with children.
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- Theses and Dissertations