Child care and attachment in institutional care.
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Attachment is an important aspect of every human being‟s life as it has a major role to play in human development especially in the social-emotional domain. There are several factors that influence the formation of secure attachment in infants and these include quality of care and caregiver sensitivity. The aim of this study was to examine child care and attachment in Zambian orphanages. The study was conducted at SOS Children‟s Villages (Societas Socialis) and a sample size of 35 infant-caregiver dyads were used, including both male and female participants. Research questions were: 1) What is the nature of child care in child care orphanages? 2) To what extent are caregivers in SOS Children‟s Village responsive and sensitive to children in their care? 3) What child attachment patterns exist in SOS Children‟s Village? 4) What is the relationship between caregiver sensitivity and child attachment? The tools for data collection were: the Emotional Attachment and Emotional Availability Scale Attachment Story Completion Task and the Daily Hassles Questionnaire. The key findings of this study revealed that the majority of the children were securely attached. The findings also showed that the majority of caregivers showed moderate sensitivity to children in their care. The findings of this study inspire the need for more research in this area of attachment and child care in the context of institutionalisation. Keywords: Child attachment, Caregiver sensitivity, Child care, Attachment patterns.
The University of Zambia