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Running head: HOPE AND ATTACHMENT STYLE AMONG MOTHERS

Hope and Attachment Styles Among Mothers At Risk for Child Abuse and Neglect

Alice Wen-jui Cheng

University of Kansas
Hope and Attachment 1

Abstract

Child abuse and neglect have long been associated with insecure attachment

styles both as the antecedent and aftermath of the maltreatment. Attachment theory

provides a useful conceptual framework for understanding the cause and long-term

consequences of child maltreatment. Research on the positive mediating construct in

families that are at high risk for child maltreatment is scarce. Hope is a construct in positive

psychology and is related to positive psychological adjustment among non-clinical

populations. However the significance of hope is unclear among families that are at risk to

abuse their own child(ren). This study attempts to understand the relationship of hope, adult

attachment style, and child maltreatment potential within high risk families. A sample of 45

at-risk for child abuse mothers completed measures of hope, attachment style and potential

for child abuse. Results demonstrate a moderate relationship between child abuse potential

and one’s hopefulness. Findings also revealed that avoidantly attached individuals have

higher child abuse potential and have lower hope scores.


Hope and Attachment 2

Hope and Attachment Styles Among Mothers At Risk for Child Abuse and Neglect

Contrary to what many people believe, child maltreatment is not a contemporary social

problem. Rather, child maltreatment is a long standing, pervasive, universal behavior across

cultures (DeMause, 1990; Korbin, 2003; Zigler & Hall, 1989, 1991). From ancient times

until the industrial revolution, historical records are filled with accounts of child maltreatment.

Infanticide as a way to balance demand and resources in the primitive culture, child brothels

in the Middle Ages and child labor in the late 19th Century are all historical examples of the

abuse (DeMause, 1998; Korbin, 2003). Even in recent history, John Watson, founder of

Behaviorism suggested child raring strategies like "Never hug and kiss them, never let them

sit on your lap. If you must, kiss them once on the forehead when they say good night.

Shake hands with them in the morning" (Watson, 1928, p. 81-82), which people often

consider as inappropriate in modern days.

The awareness of protecting children from physical maltreatment first received public

attention in 1874, when a little girl named Mary Ellen was found beaten and chained to her

bedstead, and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal was the only

relevant agency that could be persuaded to act in her behalf. The public quickly took notice

of the inadequacy of its protection services and therefore established the first Society for the

Prevention of Cruelty to Children in New York in the following year (Zigler & Hall, 1989,
Hope and Attachment 3

1991). Decades later, academic research of child abuse was launched by the medical field in

the 1950s when the phrase “battered child syndrome” was coined to held parents and

caregivers responsible for child’s injuries. The study of child maltreatment from a

psychological perspective didn’t emerge until two decades later (Zigler & Hall, 1991).

Prevalence of Child Abuse

The high prevalence of childhood abuse and neglect is a serious threat to the society.

The United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS, 2005) reported

approximately 906,000 reported cases of child abuse in the year 2003. Of these cases, 50

percent involve neglect, 35 percent involve physical abuse, and 15 percent involve sexual

abuse. It is estimated that about 1 in 20 children is physically abused each year (Department

of Health and Human Services, 2005).

There are many types of child maltreatment, namely neglect, physical abuse, emotional

abuse, and sexual abuse. Neglect is defined as a form of maltreatment characterized by a

chronic lack of care in the area of health, cleanliness, diet, supervision, education or meeting

of emotional needs, which places the child’s normal development at risk (Department of

Health and Human Services, 2005). Other forms of abuse, by contrast, involve voluntary or

involuntary acts of physical or emotional aggressions towards a minor, which also

compromise the child’s development (Department of Health and Human Services, 2005;
Hope and Attachment 4

Ethier, Palacio Quintin, & Jourdan Ionescu, 1992). Although it is easier to distinguish child

neglect and abuse at a conceptual level, these two forms of maltreatment often co-occur.

The estimated percentage of overlap between victims of abuse and neglect is 40%.

Researchers have found that both types of maltreatment commonly coexist in child

maltreatment households (Ethier, Palacio Quintin, & Jourdan Ionescu, 1992).

Long-Term Consequences of Abuse and Neglect

Children who are abused or neglected often suffer greater emotionally than physically

(Erickson, Egeland, & Pianta, 1989; Heyman & Smith-Slep, 2002). The damaging effects

of maltreatment on children’s cognitive, emotional and social development spheres are

believed to result from the distorted relations between child and caretaker (Hodges & Steele,

2000). Research has shown that child abuse may result in immediate negative outcomes, as

well as long-term consequences (Finkelhor & Browne, 1986; Lowenthal, 1998; Watson,

1928). During childhood, abuse has been associated with emotional and behavioral

problems such as depression, self-mutilation, low self-esteem, aggression, anxiety, PTSD,

social isolation and stigmatization (Atkinson & Zucker, 1997; Heyman & Smith-Slep, 2002;

Hodges & Steele, 2000; Korbin, 2003; Turner, Finkelhor, & Ormrod, 2006) . The long-term

impact of child abuse can include personality disorders, attachment disorder, relationship

problems, delinquency, sexual behavior problems, and inducing repetitive abuse to future
Hope and Attachment 5

generations (Atkinson & Zucker, 1997; Heyman & Smith-Slep, 2002). Perhaps the most

devastating consequences of child abuse is that many adults who were victims of child abuse

carry on the abusive cycle themselves, and eventually become perpetrators (Falshaw, Browne,

& Hollin, 1996; Friedrich & Wheeler, 1982; Heyman & Smith-Slep, 2002). It should be

noted that not all abuse victims have severe reactions. Usually, the younger the child, the

longer the abuse continues, and the closer the child's relationship with the abuser, the more

serious the emotional damage will be (Erickson, Egeland, & Pianta, 1989; Lowenthal, 1998).

Research may never find direct relationship between the causeas and consequences of

different maltreatment behaviors, but it is clear that early abusive experiences provide a

fertile ground for other difficulties later on in life to take root and grow. Thus, it is crucial to

achieve more understanding about abusive parents.

Characteristics of the Abusing Parent

Parental functioning is influenced by characteristics of the parent, child and

environmental sources of stress and support. Parents who abuse their child are generally

found to be socially isolated, under stress, low income, single parents and to have had

inadequate care growing up (DePaul & Domenech, 2000; Erickson, Egeland, & Pianta, 1989).

Moreover, parents who maltreat their children were often mistreated in childhood (Friedrich

& Wheeler, 1982; Turner, Finkelhor, & Ormrod, 2006). The literature on abusive parents
Hope and Attachment 6

indicates a striking relationship pattern in which the abusive parents were themselves abused

physically, sexually, emotionally, and/or neglected in childhood (DePaul & Domenech, 2000;

Falshaw, Browne, & Hollin, 1996; Friedrich & Wheeler, 1982; Spinetta & Rigler, 1972;

Turner, Finkelhor, & Ormrod, 2006). Parents recreated the pattern of rearing their children

the same way they were raised as they react to their children based on their own personal

experience growing up (Narang & Contreras, 2005; Spinetta & Rigler, 1972). Abusive

parents often report severe physical punishment as part of their own up-bringing. Neglectful

mothers reported a significant higher level of physical punishment in childhood compared to

the non-neglectful mother from similar socioeconomic and educational backgrounds

(Falshaw, Browne, & Hollin, 1996; Friedrich & Wheeler, 1982; Heyman & Smith-Slep,

2002). A cross-cultural study conducted in Britain found that abusive parents describe their

own parents as harsh, rejecting, and unreasonable in their disciplinary styles and frequent use

of physical punishment (Smith & Hanson, 1975). Abusive parents share common

misbeliefs in regard to the nature of child rearing and negative emotional states (Scannapieco

& Connell-Carrick, 2005; Steele, 1994). Parents who maltreat their children often have

unrealistic demands on their children’s performance, have less knowledge about child

developmental milestones and norms, and tend to make more negative attributions of their

child’s behavior (Dopke & Milner, 2000; Scannapieco & Connell-Carrick, 2005). In

addition, abusive parents often have aberrant attitudes, expectations, and childrearing
Hope and Attachment 7

techniques resulting in expecting “too much, too fast” from their children (Friedrich &

Wheeler, 1982).

Considering the risk factors mention earlier, it is not surprising that teenage mothers

are responsible to as much as 36% to 56% of child abuse cases (Bolton, 1990; DePaul &

Domenech, 2000). This high prevalence of abuse among teenage mothers is likely because

young mothers lack adequate knowledge of child development and subsequently influence

their behavior towards their children (Bolton, 1990; Britner & Reppucci, 1997; Buccholz &

Korn-Bursztyn, 1993; Howarter, 2003). The transition to parenthood is among one of the

most stressful life events and this can be especially true for teens whose pregnancies are often

unplanned, whose children are born out of wedlock, exposed to greater poverty, less support

and more strain on their parental and romantic relationships (Altepeter & Walker, 1992;

Britner & Reppucci, 1997; Buccholz & Korn-Bursztyn, 1993).

Attachment and Parenting

The relationship between attachment style and parenting behaviors has been well

documented (Bartholomew, Kwong, & Hart, 2001; Lowenthal, 1998; McCarthy & Taylor,

1999; Svanberg, 1998). Insecure attachment styles have been linked with history of

childhood abuse, unresolved loss and trauma (Rodriguez, 2006; Stalker, Gebotys, & Harper,

2005). Both avoidant and anxious/ambivalent attachment styles in childhood are associated
Hope and Attachment 8

with caretakers that are rejecting and unresponsiveness to child’s distress (Bartholomew,

Kwong, & Hart, 2001). Parents with avoidant attachment style have been especially linked

with high child abuse potential (Levy & Orlans, 1998). As attachment styles tend to remain

consistent through out the lifespan, adults with history of childhood maltreatment often

carried their insecure attachment style into their peer relationships and tend to have

difficulties in friendship and romantic relationships (Kerns, 1994). Romantic partners are

often projected as the new primary attachment figure in adulthood. Insecurely attached

individuals continue to struggle with intimacy and trust with their attachment figure (Hazan

& Shaver, 1987; Merrill, Hervig, & Milner, 1996; Morris, 1982; Parks, Stevenson-Hinde, &

Marris, 1991). The cycle of insecure attachment continues across generation. Insecure

attached parents recreated the pattern of rearing their children the same way they were raised,

as they react to their children based on their own personal experience in childhood (Muller,

Lemieux, & Sicoli, 2001; Narang & Contreras, 2005; Shorey & Snyder, 2006).

Attachment Theory: An Overview

John Bowlby

The most prominent researchers in attachment theory are John Bowlby and Mary

Ainsworth (Bretherton, 1992). The study of attachment began in London’s Child guidance

clinic in 1940 when Bowlby noticed a striking similarity in childhood history of parental
Hope and Attachment 9

deprivation among the forty-four juvenile thieves he described as “affectionless

characters”(Karen, 1998, p. 53). The forty-four adolescents Bowlby witnessed displayed a

profile of affectionless, detachment, solitariness, unresponsiveness, impervious to punishment

and indifferent to kindness. The adolescents had similar experience of early separation1 or

parental deprivation with their primary caregiver (Karen, 1998). In Bowlby’s time

psychology was still very much rooted in psychoanalysis and Bowlby perceived the thieving

behavior as a displacement of replacing maternal love with stolen goods (Karen, 1998).

Together with his assistant James Robertson, they observed the reaction of children in the

hospital during and following separation from their mothers and noticed the profound effect

separation has on the youngsters. In 1951 Robertson made the film A Two- Year-Old Goes

to Hospital to document and demonstrate the drastic and devastating effects on children when

they are isolated from their caregivers days at a time. When the protagonist of the film,

Laura, when first arrived at the hospital was a warm, well-behaved toddler. However, when

she found out that her parents will leave her alone in the hospital, she protested violently.

Subsequent visits from her parents showed an angry yet over-joyed child greeted her parents

and begged her parents to take her when they were ready to part. Her behaviors soon

became despaired and hollowed, Laura would rock back-and forth when she was alone in an

attempt to sooth herself. Her attitude towards her parents eventually became detached and

1
It is a common practice during the 1900s Britain to separate parents and children for quarantine purposes
weeks at a time when children were hospitalized
Hope and Attachment 10

emotionless. The film ended with an initially affectionless Laura when her mother came to

visit, a somewhat suspicious and ambivalent Laura when her mother told her that she was to

go home with her, and a somewhat content Laura leaving the hospital with her mother (Karen,

1998). Bowlby would later note that Laura would reattach with her parents for she is lucky

that the separation was relatively short. Children separated or deprived from parental love

for longer duration during the critical attachment period would have a long lasting effect in

their personality and later attachments (Bowlby, 1988).

Bowlby believed that attachment plays a vital role throughout the life cycle and is a

process that characterize human beings “from cradle to the grave” (J. Feeney & Noller, 1996,

p. 19). In accordance with this hypothesis, Morris (1982) reasoned that due to the depth and

the significance of early life infant-parent attachment, the bond is likely to serve as a

prototype for later intimate relationships.

Function of Attachment

Bowlby (1973) defined attachment behavior as “any form of behavior that results in a

person attaining or retaining proximity to some other differentiated and preferred individual,

usually conceived a stronger and/or wiser” (p.292). Bowlby was profoundly influenced by

his contemporary scholars in ethology, especially by Konrad Lorenz and Niko Tinbergen who

studied bonding behavior of birds and mammals, which helped him conceptualize human
Hope and Attachment 11

attachment behavior. Bowlby (1973) hypothesized attachment was the result of evolution

through the process of natural selection and that maternal deprivation is harmful because it

thwarts instinctual need (Hazan & Shaver, 1994a). The attachment system is proposed to

have “its own internal motivation distinct from feeding and sex, and of no less importance for

survival” (Bowlby, 1988, p. 27) Due to extreme immateriality at birth human infants are

more likely to survive by keeping proximity with their older and stronger caregiver who

would protect and keep danger at bay from them. Infants therefore enhanced on behaviors

(e.g. smiling, cuddling) that would promote the willingness of adults to provide protection

and care and built attachment bonds for their own survival advantage (J. Feeney & Noller,

1996). Under this frame of mind, attachment is considered as part of normal, healthy human

development, rather than being a sign of immaturity that needs to be outgrown (Cassidy &

Shaver, 1999).

The three defining features of attachment and functions of attachment relationship are

proximity maintenance, safe heaven and secure base (Bartholomew, 1990; Bartholomew,

Kwong, & Hart, 2001; Bowlby, 1973). The attachment system is hypothesized to function

homeostatically: When Infants smile and coo at their caregivers, it triggers the likelihood

for adults to respond positively. In contrast, babies cry and shout emit adults to come to

attend to their discomfort and at the same time terminate the annoyance baby created for

them in order to draw their attention (Bartholomew, Kwong, & Hart, 2001). In proximity
Hope and Attachment 12

maintenance, infants seek for attachment figure at all times, especially under threat and

discomfort, and protest when their caregiver leaves and clam at their returned. The

caregiver serves as a haven of safety to which infants retreat in distress or fear for comfort

and protection. It is only when the infants feel safe with their attachment figures can they

explore, learn and feel curious about their environment, for they know they have a base of

security near them that could come to their rescue in time of need (Bartholomew, Kwong, &

Hart, 2001; J. Feeney & Noller, 1996; Hazan & Shaver, 1994a; Karen, 1998).

Working Model

Internal working model is a key phrase coined by Bowlby to represent one’s

expectancy toward the responsiveness of their attachment figure. A child learns from

experience how responsive his caregiver attends to his needs; accordingly he justifies his own

worthiness. A caregiver can respond to a child in two ways, consistently and inconsistently.

The caregiver could be reliably supportive towards her child’s need for care and protection or

she could be consistently irresponsive and cold. A parent could also be erratic in her care

giving pattern and being unpredictable as to whether or not she would provide care when her

child is in need (Bartholomew, 1990). Three types of attachment styles observed by

Ainsworth et al (1978), discussed more in the attachment styles section in this chapter)

displayed striking correlation between respond patterns and attachment styles between
Hope and Attachment 13

mother-child dyads. Mothers of securely attached infants tends to be consistently

responsive and warm to their infant’s needs. In contrast, mothers of infant classified as

anxious/ambivalent tend to be inconsistent and inadequate in dealing with their infants

signals, showing a lack of sensitivity to their child’s needs and more of their own. Mothers

of avoidant children are perpetually irresponsive towards their children’s needs signals and

desperate signs (Bartholomew, 1990).

Confidence that an attachment figure is, apart from being accessible,


likely to be responsive can be seen to turn on at least two variables: a) whether
or not the attachment figure is judged to be the sort of person who in general
responds to calls for support and protection; and b) weather or not the self is
judged to be the sort if person towards whom anyone, and the attachment figure
in particular is likely to respond in a helpful way. Logically these variables are
independent. In practice they are apt to be confounded. As a result, the
model of the attachment figure and the model of the self are likely to develops
so as to be complementary and mutually confirming (Bowlby, 1973, p. 204).

These working models pertain not only with interactions with the caregiver but also

generalize to new situations and people. Working models function to predict the behavior

of others and to plan one’s own behavior to achieve relational goals (J. Feeney & Noller,

1996; J. A. Feeney, Noller, & Roberts, 2000). Children get attached regardless of whether

their caregivers can satisfy their physical needs. This notion is supported by evidence

indicating infants became attached even to abusive parents (Cassidy & Shaver, 1999).

While Bowlby contributed an immense amount of knowledge to our current


Hope and Attachment 14

conceptualization of attachment, another prominent psychologist, Mary Ainsworth,

contributed additional perspective on attachment.

Mary Ainsworth

Following Bowlby’s footsteps, Ainsworth carried out series of studies on human attachment

(Bretherton, 1992; Karen, 1998). Her most prominent work is on classification of

attachment styles; her most famous experiment, which became one of the classics and must

mentioned research in introductory Psychology textbooks, is the Strange Situation

experiment (Bartholomew, 1990). The typology of attachment classification further

strengthens the hypothesis that attachment style remains consistent throughout the life span

because attachment styles in adulthood persists parallel with the classification from the

Strange situation observation in infancy. Ainsworth defines attachment as ” relationships

with a particular type of affectional bond, they are relatively long-lasting ties characterized by

a desire to maintain closeness to a partner who is seen as unique as an individual and who is

not interchangeable with any other” (Feeney & Noller, 1996, p.19).

Children play an active role in the attachment process. They take initiatives in

forming the attachment bonds with caregiver and are not mere recipients of stimulus from

their parents. Interaction between infants and mothers are chains of behavioral interactions,

which are initiated either by behavior of the mother to which infant responds, or by the infant
Hope and Attachment 15

which the parent reacts to (M. D. S. Ainsworth, 1985). Maternal deprivation therefore is

best defined as insufficient interaction between the infant and the mother, and not just about

the lack of stimulation. Therefore, it can be reasoned that attachment deprived infant lacks

the response of an adult to the behavior he initiates (M. Ainsworth, 1962).

Attachment Styles

Although all children get attached, the quality of the attachment differs. Ainsworth

and colleagues first notice differences in attachment patterns exist between mother-child

dyad during her routine observations in her Strange Situation experiment (M. Ainsworth,

Blehar, Walters, & Wall, 1979). The experiment consists of a sequence of steps that

includes observations of the child’s behavior with the parent, when the parent was absent,

and when a stranger was present both with and without the parent (M. Ainsworth, Blehar,

Walters, & Wall, 1979; M. D. S. Ainsworth, 1985; Bartholomew, 1990). The experiment

was designed to arouse anxiety, security seeking and exploration in order to test Bowlby’s

assumptions on the three functions of attachment, which are proximity maintenance, safe

heaven, and secure base. Ainsworth and her colleagues noticed that the intensity of the

separation distress were different for different infants, the reunion interaction between the

caregiver and the child also varied (M. Ainsworth, 1964; M. Ainsworth, Blehar, Walters,

& Wall, 1979). They soon concluded that the difference was related to the strength and
Hope and Attachment 16

quality of the attachment of the infant to the parent. The results from this experiment lead

to the development of the concept of attachment styles between infant and caregiver.

Ainsworth et al. highlighted three basic attachment styles: secure, avoidant, and

anxious-ambivalent (M. D. S. Ainsworth, 1985; Bretherton, 1992; Cassidy & Shaver, 1999;

Karen, 1998; Parks, Stevenson-Hinde, & Marris, 1991). The researchers observed that

securely attached infants could explore their environments when their caregiver was

present and displayed certain degree of separation distress when a parent left but were

easily comforted by their parent upon their return. The parent of avoidant infants was

generally distant or rigid and infants tended to avoid contact with them.

Anxious-ambivalent infants have parent who showed inconsistent caregiving behavior, and

shown extreme separation distress when the parent left, and ambivalence or anger upon

return.

Later works on attachment styles purposed four styles of attachment instead of three

(Bartholomew & Horowitz, 1991). Bartholomew suggested a four-group attachment model

elaborated from Bowlby’s framework on internal and external working models of attachment.

The model based in part on the positive and negative variations in the working models of self

and other mentioned previously. The types of attachment styles are named: secure (positive

self and other), preoccupied (negative self, positive other), dismissing (positive self, negative

other), and fearful (negative self and other). These four attachment styles are argued by
Hope and Attachment 17

some as an elaboration of the three-group attachment style model originally proposed by

Ainsworth and her colleagues. Feeney (1996) proposes that the secure attachments style in

both models are considered the same. The preoccupied attachment style is equivalent to that

of anxious/ambivalent attachment style, and the avoidant attachment style can be sub-divided

into either the dismissing or fearful attachment styles. Therefore, the present study will

focus on the three-group attachment style model given its longer research history and its

fitness with the adult attachment assessment this study administrated (Adult Attachment

Questionnaire, (Hazan & Shaver, 1987).

Continuity of Childhood Attachment to Adulthood

Adult Attachment styles

Although initial theorizing of attachment theory has focused on childhood, the theory

was later applied to adult romantic relationships and parenting relationships (Rothbard &

Shaver, 1994). The research on adult attachment styles formulated as two parallel studies in

the early 1980s. The developmental psychologists team lead by Mary Ainsworth’s students

in the University of Minnesota carried on Ainsworth’s legacy by extending her parent-child

dyadic attachments to that of typologizing adult attachment styles (Karen, 1998). Social

psychologists Cindy Hazan and Philip Shaver at the University of Denver, (1994a; , 1987)

studied adult attachment styles with respect to romantic relationships and the significance of
Hope and Attachment 18

it with patterns of parent-child relationship in their families of origin.

Aside from the attachment figure, the attachment dynamic in adulthood is very similar

to that of when we were younger. The emotions adults exhibit toward their partner is strong,

the anxiety we experience when our significant other is away is intense, the ease we feel

when they are around us is comforting, the urge to seek for them when we are in need is

universal. All the emotions that I just mention sound familiar only to those of us who has

had significant attachments in our adult life before. It is because we all have experienced

them and they are reenactments of our childhood attachment with our parents. The

components and functions of attachment in adulthood with our partner are still very much the

same compare to that of childhood attachment with our caregiver. Kerns (1994) proposes

that attachment style at one developmental stages helps to influence the resultant attachment

style at the next developmental stage. Working models provide the continuity between

infant and adult attachment systems by maintaining expectations derived during childhood of

the attachment figure’s behavior and one’s capacity in social situations. In addition, each

stage of development provides the foundation for the next stage, for example, having the

advantages of a secure attachment would help a child develop secure attachments with peers

during adolescence. Shaver, Collins, and Clark (1996) have also proposed that expectations

associated with working models tend to become self-fulfilling over time, so for example,

being rejected can cause one to develop expectations of rejection and subsequently behave in
Hope and Attachment 19

ways that increase the likelihood of rejection.

Attachment styles in adults are hypothesized to stem directly from the working models

of oneself and others that were developed during infancy and childhood. Ainsworth's

classification of the three attachment styles has been translated into terms of adult romantic

relationships as follow:

Secure adults find it relatively easy to get close to others and are comfortable
depending on others and having others depend on them. Secure adults
don't often worry about being abandoned or about someone getting too
close to them.
Avoidant adults are somewhat uncomfortable being close to others; they find
it difficult to trust others completely, difficult to allow themselves to
depend on others. Avoidant adults are nervous when anyone gets too close,
and often, love partners want them to be more intimate than they feel
comfortable being.
Anxious / ambivalent adults find that others are reluctant to get as close as
they would like. Anxious / ambivalent adults often worry that their partner
doesn't really love them or won't want to stay with them. Anxious /
ambivalent adults want to merge completely with another person, and this
desire sometimes scares people away. (Hazan & Shaver, 1987, p. 515)

Attachment is an integral part of human behavior and the function and dynamic of the

system is hypothesized to be virtually the same across life span (Hazan & Shaver, 1994a).

Hazan and Shaver (1994b) noted several functional and behavior similarities between

childhood and adult attachment. First, the quality of the attachment is dependent upon the

reciprocation, sensitivity and responsiveness of the attachment figure/ caregiver. Second,

securely attached individuals (infants/adults) are generally happier and more adaptive than

insecurely attached individuals. Third, the attachment mechanism of maintaining proximity


Hope and Attachment 20

to the attachment figure is displayed in both adult and infant attachments. Fourth,

separation from an attachment figure causes extreme distress (separation distress), and the

initiation of attachment behaviors in an attempt to regain contact with the attachment figure.

Fifth, in both adults and infants, there is an intense sensitivity when displaying discoveries

and achievements to the attachment figure for approval. And lastly, both attachments entail

a certain degree of baby talk or motherese (i.e., distinct speech patterns and vocabulary use

by caregivers when talking to young children) type communication. Despite the

continuation and similarities of the attachment behavior, several differences exist among

them worth mentioning. First, childhood attachments relationship are asymmetrical,

meaning that the relationship is usually complementary whereas adult attachment

relationships are typically reciprocal Second, children’s attachment is almost always toward

an adult caregiver, whereas adults’ attachment figures are normally peers, usually a sexual

partner; there is almost always a sexual component involved in adult attachments (J. Feeney

& Noller, 1996; Hazan & Shaver, 1987).

The quality of the mother’s romantic relationship or martial satisfaction is often the

best predictor of the mother’s parenting behaviors (Altepeter & Walker, 1992). Crittenden

and Ainsworth (1989) suggested the possibility of the elevation of insecure attachment bond

between child and mother due to young mother’s insensitive responds to their infants needs,

which furthermore increase the risk of abuse and neglect.


Hope and Attachment 21

Mary Ainsworth (M. D. S. Ainsworth, 1985) in her acceptance speech for American

Psychological Association Division 12 Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award stated on

her student Mary Main’s research in Adult Attachment:

It is yielding very convincing evidence of cross-generational effects.


Those who have parented securely attached infants had not all had idyllically
secure relations with parents in early childhood. No, some were rejected,
neglected, and/or abused but somehow overcome these early handicaps and won
through to sufficient understanding of their parents to enable them to give their
own children the security that they themselves had not experienced early on.
How? (p. 29)

The purpose of this study is to attempt to answer the question Ainsworth asked 20

years ago about the positive factors that brought out the resiliency in mothers of adverse life

circumstance to successfully terminate the trans-generational circle of harmful parenting.

Some protective factors identified against child abuse in at-risk population are social support

(Goobic, 2002; Lowenthal, 1998; Muller & Lemieux, 2000; Muller, Lemieux, & Sicoli,

2001), perceived social support (Crouch, Milner, & Caliso, 1995), supportive spouse (Caliso

& Milner, 1992), and less socialemotional difficulties (i.e. anxiety, dependency, depression

and immaturity) (Burt et al., 2005; Langeland & Dijkstra, 1995). Aside from the protective

factors coming from external sources and from the socialemotional level, what else is

shielding a mother from maltreating her child when everything else seems to built up for her

to do just that? The construct of hope is a positive factor that may be helpful in

understanding this phenomenon.


Hope and Attachment 22

Hope

Snyder, Irving and Anderson (1991) defined hope as a positive motivational state that

is based on an interactively derived sense of successful processes that includes (1) agency

thinking (goal directed energy; motivation) and (2) pathway thinking (planning to meet goals;

means to achieve the goal). Hope has been positive correlated with better psychological

adjustment and life satisfaction (Kwon, 2002), optimism (Kashdan et al., 2002) and better

treatment outcome (Snyder, 2004), and negatively related to levels of depression among

college student(Snyder, 2004). Hope is a relatively new concept in psychology and the

role of hope at the societal level in psychological adjustment warrants further study (Snyder,

2002). Research on the relationship of hope to high-risk families for child abuse and neglect

is scarce and inconclusive. Howater (2003) found no significant relationship between hope

and child abuse potential among first time adolescent mothers, but another study found hope

as a predictive factor in child abuse behavior (Parvizian, 2005). Hope is hypothesized to be

a socially learned behavior, and it has been postulated that the lost of hope in children is

especially induced upon by negligent and abusive parents (Snyder, 1994). Neglected

newborns do not have the opportunity to receive the necessary care and attachment to

develop hopeful thinking from their primary caregiver, and abused children learn that

interpersonal relationships cannot be trusted. Child abuse has long been associated with
Hope and Attachment 23

negative attachment outcomes (Lowenthal, 1998; McCarthy & Taylor, 1999) and parental

insecure attachment styles has also been link with child abuse potential (Rodriguez, 2006).

But not much is known about the function of hope in the relationship between parental

attachment styles and risk for child maltreatment, therefore, more studies are needed to

understand attachment, and risk for child maltreatment and how they relate to hope.

The aim of this study is to investigate the relationships of hope, adult attachment styles

and potential for child abuse and neglect. It is hypothesized that parental hope will be

negatively associated with high level of child maltreatment potential and that it will be

positively correlated with low risk for child physical abuse and neglect. It is also

hypothesized that mothers with a secure attachment style will have higher hope scores, and

less likely to maltreat their young. The insecurely attached mother will have lower hope

scores and are more prone to child maltreatment.

Method

Participants

Participants were 45 at-risk for child abuse and neglect mothers. Age of participants

ranged from 16 to 43 years with a mean of 20.79 years (SD=4.96). African American

represented the majority (82.1%; n=37) of the sample, followed by mixed-racial (10.3%;

n=5), Hispanics (5.1%; n=2) and Caucasians (2.6%; n=1). Over half (61.5%; n=28) of the
Hope and Attachment 24

participants are currently in high school, 33.3% (n=15) are not in school and has no high

school or equivalent degree, and 5.1% (n=2) received a high school degree or equivalent.

Procedure

The present study was conducted as a sub-study under the Preventing Child Neglect in

High-Risk Mothers Project (a multi-side longitudinal intervention project of the University of

Notre Dame, University of Kansas, Georgetown University and University of Texas Health

Science; For this study, data were collected at the Kansas site only). The intervention

project uses a treatment-control design. All participants were assigned with a family coach

that provides assistant according to their placement. All mothers were randomly assigned to

one of two groups: A low-intensity group that provides referral to community support

services based on assessed needs and a high-intensity group that provides referrals to social

support plus at least bi-weekly training on a wide range of skills related to parenting.

Assessors visit each participants to assess child development and complete interviews and

assessments prepared by the Preventing Child Neglect on High-Riska Mothers Project when

child is 4-month, 10-month, and every 6 months after. This sub-sample of participants from

the Kansas site consisted of 45 mothers from the larger sample recruited by the Preventing

Child Neglect in High-Risk Mothers Project from prenatal clinics during pregnancy whom fit

the profile for potential child maltreatment. The recruiting criteria were: participants are

between 15-18 years of age at the time of birth of their first child, or over 18 and without a
Hope and Attachment 25

high school degree or rendered them eligible from inclusion barring major mental illness,

AIDS, or active substance abuse.

The Adult Attachment Style Questionnaire and Child Abuse Potential Inventory

(CAPI) were part of the prenatal and 1-month assessment packet prepared by the Preventing

Child Neglect in High-Risk Mothers Project. All data has already been collected by the

family coaches and stored in database from the prenatal phase and the 1-month assessment

phase of the Preventing Child Neglect project. For the purpose of this study, only the Adult

Attachment Questionnaire and the Child Abuse Potential Inventory from the entire prenatal

and 1-month postnatal packets were analyzed.

During the course of administering the standard assessment battery by the assessors at

the 4-month, 10-month and 16-month home visits, an additional information consent form

was presented to the participants. This additional consent form informed the participants of

their rights to chose to complete an additional assessment (Trait Hope Scale) for the purpose

of this study.

Measurement

The Trait Hope Scale (Snyder et al., 1991) measures adult trait hope. The assessment

consists of 7-point Likert-scale of 12-items, which are further divided to three subscales of

four agencies, four pathways, and four distracter items. Respondents are asked to imagine

themselves across time and situational contexts, and the average time to complete the
Hope and Attachment 26

assessment is 3 minutes. Test-retest reliability is .80 or higher over a period of 10 weeks

(Snyder et al., 1991), convergent validity with related construct scales like optimism is

from .50 to .60 and discriminant validity on self-confidence scale which is believed to be not

correlated with hope is -.30 (Snyder et al., 1991).

Adult Attachment Style Questionnaire, AASQ (Hazan & Shaver, 1987) consists of questions

on satisfaction with intimacy. The assessment consists of two sub-scales, a 13-item

Likert-scale on feeling of attachment and a 1-item consists of the 13 items from the pervious

sub-scale into paragraphs by attachment styles. Concurrent validity on two months

test-retest correlation with the Adult Attachment Scale is r=.79.

The Child Abuse Potential Inventory (Joel S. Milner, 1986) designed to assess an individual’s

likelihood in imposing child maltreatment. It is a 77-item measurement composed with 3

abused-related subscales (Rigidity,Unhappiness, Problems with Child and Self). Studies

have found internal reliability rates on the CAPI Abuse Scale that range from .85 to .98 (see

Milner, 1986). Chaffin and Valle (2003) reported a 2-week test-retest reliability of .91 for

the CAPI Abuse Scale. At least one longitudinal study reported a significantly higher rate of

confirmed physical child abuse among parents with elevated CAPI scores (Milner, Gold,

Ayoub, & Jacewitz, 1985) while other studies indicated the CAPI can discriminate between

at-risk and control parents (see Milner, 1989). Measures of parental stress significantly

correlate with CAPI scores (Holden, Willis, & Foltz, 1989; Schellenbach, Monroe, &
Hope and Attachment 27

Merluzzi, 1991).

Preliminary Analyses

Descriptive statistics were run to illustrate general information on trait hope scores,

child abuse potential scores and adult attachment styles. Analysis of variance of hope and

CAPI were run between different attachment styles to test if hope and CAPI scores are

significantly different between different attachment styles. Correlational analyses were

conducted on child abuse potential (CAPI), hope scores, and adult attachment styles. The

analyses illustrate how hope and adult attachment styles are related to child abuse potentials

and the relationship strengths of these individual variables.

Results

The descriptive statistics for the sample are shown in Table 1 for the total hope scores,

scores of total CAPI, and hope and CAPI scores among different adult attachment styles.

The recommended cut-off score for CAPI is 215 for the general population (Joel S.

Milner, 1986), the score is rather conservative to reduce false positive classification of

potential abusers. In this sample, 12 cases fall above the cut-off, which is equivalent to

26.7% of the total sample. When using the clinical cut-off score for the at-risk for child

abuse population of 166, 15 cases fall above the clinical cut-off score, which represent 34.1

% of the total sample. Approximately 1.8 to 4.2 percent of the general population are
Hope and Attachment 28

estimated to abuse children (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1998). It is

evident that since the study was conducted among the at-risk population for child

maltreatment, the percentage is well above the general population.

The percentage breakdown of adult attachment styles in the present study are 45.5 %

(n=20) secure attachment style, 40.9% (n=18) avoidant attachment style, and 13.6 % (n=6)

anxious attachment style. One participant was removed from the analyses as she did not fall

under any attachment style. The percentage breakdown of the actual attachment styles is

inconsistent to the participants’ self-report attachment styles. Participants’ self-report

yielded secure attachment style (51.1%), avoidant attachment style (28.9%), and anxious

attachment style (20%). Study done in the general American population on adult

attachment styles indicates a spread of 60% secure, 15% Anxious/Ambivalent, and 25%

Avoidant (Campos, Barrett, Lamb, Goldsmith, & Stenberg, 1983). The present study done

in the at-risk population exhibits a slightly different breakdown. A much higher percentage

of the avoidant attachment style (40.9%) and a lower percentage of anxious attachment style

(13.6%) and secure attachment style (45.5%) are shown.

The anxious attachment style bared the highest mean hope score of 53.83 and a

standard deviation of 6.56, followed by the secure attachment style (µ=49.05; SD= 8.97) and

last by the avoidant attachment style (µ=46.50; SD= 6.55). However, the difference

between the three attachment styles in hope was not statistically significant (F=1.399;
Hope and Attachment 29

p=.275). The avoidant attachment style bared the highest mean score for CAPI of 193.81

and a standard deviation of 100.28, follow by the secure attachment style (µ=129.87; SD=

79.08) and last by the anxious attachment style (µ=115.4; SD= 71.38 ). CAPI scores

between the three attachment styles were statistically significant at the .05 level (F= 3.194;

p= .051). The result of analyses of variances of hope, CAPI and attachment styles is shown

in Table 2.

The result of correlational analyses of hope, CAPI and adult attachment styles are

shown in Table 3. All correlations were done on a two-tailed significance level. As

hypothesized earlier, Hope is inversely correlated to CAPI at the .01 significance level

(r=-.388, p=.009), and hope is negatively correlated to the avoidant attachment scores at

the .05 significance level (r=-.294, p=.050). Hope is correlated positively to both the secure

attachment scale (r=.096, p=.533) and the anxious attachment scale (r= .051, p=.741),

however the results did not reach statistically significance. Contrary to the initial

hypotheses, anxiously attached individuals did not bare significantly lower hope scores in

comparison to the securely attached individual. A scatter plot of CAPI and hope is shown in

Figure 1. The graph indicates an inverse relationship between child abuse potential and

hope.

Consistent with the hypothesis of the present study, avoidant attachment scale is

positively correlated to CAPI at the .01 significance level (r=.515, p=.00). It is also positive
Hope and Attachment 30

correlated to the anxious attachment scale, with r=.198 (p=.019) but did not reach statistical

significance. In contrast from the original hypothesis, CAPI scores are positively correlated

to the secure attachment scale in a minute level of r=.009 (p=.953).

Correlations among attachment scales yield several interesting relationships. The

secure attachment scale is negatively correlated to the avoidant attachment scale with r=-.131

(p=.391), this correlation did not reach statistical significance. The secure attachment scale

is positively correlated to the anxious attachment scale with r= .021(p=.893), the two factors

did not reach statistical significance either. The anxious attachment type scale statistical

significance at the .01 level with the avoidant attachment scale (r=-.457, p=.002).

Correlation between hope and CAPI among different attachment styles is showed in

Table 4. The analyses granted a closer examination into how child abuse potential and hope

is related in different styles of attachment. Hope scores among the avoidant attachment

style is negatively correlated to CAPI (r= -.124, p= .623), in the anxious attachment style

hope is positively correlated to CAPI (r= .080, p= .881), both correlation did not reach

statistical significance. CAPI and hope among the secure attachment style is significantly

correlated at the .001 level (r= -.597, p= .005). CAPI scores is negatively correlated

between the avoidant and anxious attachment styles (r= -.823, p= .044) at the .005

significance level. Scatter plots of hope and CAPI among the three attachment styles are

shown in Table 2, 3 and 4.


Hope and Attachment 31

Discussion

Protective factors that break the cycle of child abuse have been an area of interest

among social science professionals. Parents raising children in adverse life circumstances

are especially prone to child abuse (DePaul & Domenech, 2000). Insecure attachment styles

among parents have also been linked with inadequate parenting and child abuse potential

(Rodriguez, 2006; Stalker, Gebotys, & Harper, 2005). However, some individuals rise

above the unfavorable conditions and raise their young like any other good parents. Hope

has been identified as a positive factor in optimism, better life satisfaction and adjustment

among the general population (Kashdan et al., 2002; Kwon, 2002). Yet not much is known

about hope in the relationship between parental attachment styles and risk for child

maltreatment. This study attempts to understand the effects of hope within high-risk

families for child abuse and neglect by examining mother’s adult attachment style, and child

maltreatment potential.

As hypothesized earlier, Hope is inversely correlated to child abuse potentials. Earlier

studies revealed inconsistent findings on the relationship between parental hope and child

abuse potential (Howarter, 2003; Parvizian, 2005). However, the present study adds to the

literature that supports the notion that higher levels of hope is indeed related to lower levels

of child abuse potential. One possible explanation for the inconsistency in the literature was

mentioned by the study’s author (Howarter, 2003). Howarter suspected that one reason may
Hope and Attachment 32

be that her study used an abbreviated version of the CAPI which only consisted of 25 items,

while the current study used the complete CAPI abuse sub-scale consisted of 77 items. The

current study further strengthens the notion that, hope may act as a protective factor against

child abuse within the population that is most likely to maltreat their children.

No known pervious study has been done to explore the relationship between attachment

scores and an individual’s hopefulness. The present study voyaged into this field and found

significant correlations between the two factors. Hope is significantly inversely correlated

to the avoidant attachment scale. Both the secure and the anxious attachment scales did not

have statistical significant correlation with hope. The insignificant correlation may be

explained by the small sample of the present study, as there may be meaningful relationship

between hope and the secure and anxious attachment styles but the sample size is too small to

reveal any significant relationship.

Consistent with the hypothesis of the present study, avoidant attachment scale is

positively correlated to CAPI at the .01 significance level. Parents with avoidant attachment

style have been linked with high child abuse potential (Levy & Orlans, 1998). People with

avoidant attachment style shun away from relationships as they have grown to learn that

attachment is unreliable. Once giving birth to a child, being a parent is a relationship that an

individual can not avoid or escape from. Avoidant parents may lack the joy of being a

caretaker and looking at the task of raising the youngster as a burden of responsibility.
Hope and Attachment 33

Another possible explanation may lie in the function of the working models (Hazan & Shaver,

1994b; Shaver & Hazan, 1987) An avoidant individual has a negative view of others and

more positive view of self, perhaps the abusive behavior towards their young result from the

belief that others are unworthy of their love, even ones own offspring. CAPI did not have a

significant correlation with the anxious attachment scale and the secure attachment scale.

The insignificant correlation may be explained by the small sample of the present study, as

there may be meaningful relationship between CAPI and the secure and anxious attachment

styles but the sample size is too small to reveal any relationship.

When individual cases were break down according to their attachment styles instead of

looking just at their attachment scales, only the secure attachment style hypothesis is

supported. Child abuse potential is significantly negatively correlated to hope among the

secure attachment style. Parents with secure attachment style are less likely to abuse their

children when they have a more hopeful attitude. Although consistent with the initial

hypothesis that hope and child abuse potential has a negative relationship among the avoidant

attachment style, the correlation is statistically insignificant. Inconsistent with the original

hypothesis child abuse potential is positively related to hope among the anxious attachment

but was statically insignificant. The relationship is baffling as to why higher hope would

result in higher child abuse potential. One possible explanation may lie in the small sample

of the anxious attachment style in the present study. There are only 6 participants in this
Hope and Attachment 34

sample and the size of this group is too small to suggest any meaningful relation. Another

explanation may be the erratic pattern of attachment behavior among the anxious attachment

individuals, since their attachment behavior is inconsistent, the inverse relationship between

hope and child abuse potential does not apply to them.

Limitations

It is essential to take into account some of the limitations of this study. First, the

majority of the participants in this study are of African-American racial identity, this under

presents the general at-risk for child abuse population ethnically. The sample limits the

generalizability of the finding to all at-risk for child maltreatment mothers

Second, the CAPI originally contains three sub-scales, the abuse scale, lie scale and the

distraction scale. Only the abuse scale is used in the present study. It is therefore

important to take social desirability into account since it is a self-report instrument and the lie

scale is not included to tease out the possibility. It is also important to note that to date the

CAPI has not been successful in predicting neglect, since there are no other instrument built

up to measure child neglect, CAPI still is generally used for both abuse and neglect (Joel S.

Milner, 1994). Third, since all measurements used in this study are self-report measures, the

problem of social desirability should be taking into account of as a possible confound.

Adult Attachment Interview developed by Bartholomew and Horowitz in 1991 is a possible


Hope and Attachment 35

alternative to replace the self administer questionnaire, however, the interview require

extensive training to administer (Bartholomew & Shaver, 1998). The present study used

Hazan & Shaver’s Adult Attachment Style Questionnaire (1987) owing to its fitness with the

three-group attachment style model theory used in this study.

Fourth, due to the nature of the conditions of this research being conducted as a

sub-study, all the three assessments were filled out by the participants at three different time

points. Taking into account that all the three factor of interest are stable traits (adult

attachment style, child abuse potential and hope), the result of the study should not differ

significantly as compared to completing all three assessments in one setting. However,

possible confounding variables may still exist due to the temporal difference. Despite some

of the limitations in this study, the data provide support to pervious literature on hope and

parental attachment style on child abuse potential and new insights into parental hope and

attachment styles.

Finally, the present study is a correlational study. Therefore, other unidentified

variables may contribute to the outcome of the correlations between the variable of interest in

the present study. Factors like social support, self-esteem, financial situation, emotional

state, stress level and etc were not examined but have been associated with levels of hope and

child abuse potential in past literature (Crouch, Milner, & Caliso, 1995; DePaul & Domenech,
Hope and Attachment 36

2000; Goobic, 2002; Snyder, 2004). It is therefore important not to draw any casual

relationships interpreting the result of this study.

Directions for Future Research

The present study yield interesting outcomes that warrant future investigation. First,

it is still unclear why the two insecure adult attachment scale correlate differently with hope.

The avoidant attachment scale correlates negatively with hope while the anxious/ambivalent

attachment scale has a positive relationship with hope. More studies needed to be done to

fully understand the inverse relationship between the two insecure attachment scales with

hope. It is also unclear why anxious attachment style bare a different relationship pattern

between hope and child abuse potential compare to the other two attachment styles. Since it

is the only adult attachment style with a positive correlation between hope and child abuse

potential, more study needed to be done to understand this phenomena.

Next, the present study consisted of mainly African American participants, other ethnic

groups are under-represented. Future studies need to establish whether the outcomes found

in the present study could generalized to other ethnic populations. Future investigation

could explore ways to minimize social desirability by replacing self-report measures with

alternative forms of measurement. As the concept of hope is relatively new in the filed of
Hope and Attachment 37

psychology, more research needs to be done to fully understand the relationship of hope in

adult attachment styles and child abuse potential.

(Caver & Nash, 2005; Joel S Milner, Gold, Ayoub, & Jacewitz, 1984; Schellenbach, Monroe, & Merluzzi, 1991)
Hope and Attachment 38

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Hope and Attachment 45
Approved by the Human Subjects Committee University of
Kansas, Lawrence Campus (HSCL). Approval expires one year

Appendix A
Information Statement

The Department of Psychology Research in Education at the University of Kansas supports


the practice of protection for human subjects participating in research. The following
information is provided for you to decide whether you wish to participate in the present study.
You should be aware that even if you agree to participate, you are free to withdraw at any
time without penalty. Your decision to participate in this study will not effect your current
involvement with the My Baby and Me program.
We are conducting this study to better understand parental coping. This will entail your
completion of a questionnaire. The questionnaire packet is expected to take approximately 3
minutes to complete.
The content of the questionnaires should cause no more discomfort than you would
experience in your everyday life. Although participation may not benefit you directly, we
believe that the information obtained from this study will help us gain a better understanding
of parenting stress and coping. Your participation is solicited, although strictly voluntary.
Your name will not be associated in any way with the research findings. If you would like
additional information concerning this study before or after it is completed, please feel free to
contact us by phone or mail.
Completion of the survey indicates your willingness to participate in this project and that you
are over the age of eighteen. If you have any additional questions about your rights as a
research participant, you may call (785) 864-7429 or write the Human Subjects Committee
Lawrence Campus (HSCL), University of Kansas, 2385 Irving Hill Road, Lawrence, Kansas
66045-7563, email dhann@ku.edu.

Sincerely,

Alice Wen-jui Cheng Kristin K. O’Byrne, Ph.D.


Principal Investigator Faculty Supervisor
Department of Psychology Department of Psychology
Research in Education Research in Education
Joseph R. Person Hall Joseph R. Person Hall
University of Kansas University of Kansas
Lawrence, KS 66045 Lawrence, KS 66045
(785)418-0171 (785)864-9648
alicecwj@ku.edu kkobyrne@ku.edu
Hope and Attachment 46

Appendix B

Participant ID __________ Date __________

Adult trait Goal scale

Direction: Read each item carefully. Using the scale shown below, please select the number
that best describes you and put that number in the blank provided.

1=Definitely 2=Mostly 3=Somewhat 4=Slightly 5=Slightly 6=Somewhat 7=Mostly 8=Definitely

False False False False True True True True

___ 1. I can think of many ways to get out of a jam.

___ 2. I energetically pursue my goal.

___ 3. I feel tired most of the time.

___ 4. There are lots of ways around any problem.

___ 5. I am easily downed in an argument.

___ 6. I can think of many ways to get the things in life that are most important to me.

___ 7. I worry about my health.

___ 8. Even when others get discouraged, I know I can find a way to solve the problem.

___ 9. My past experiences have prepared me well for my future.

___ 10. I’ve been pretty successful in life.

___ 11. I usually find myself worrying about something.

___ 12. I meet the goals that I set for myself.


Hope and Attachment 47

Appendix C

Adult Attachment Style Questionnaire

The following questionnaire, in two brief parts, is concerned with your experiences in
romantic love relationships. Take a moment to think about all of the most important
romantic relationships you have been involved in. For each relationship think about: How
happy or unhappy you were, and how your moods fluctuated. How much you trusted or
distrusted each other. Whether you felt you were too close emotionally or not close enough.
The amount of jealousy you felt. How much time you spend thinking about your partner.
How attracted you were to the person. How the relationship might have been better. How
it ended. (Thinking about these good and bad memories of various relationships will help
you answer the following questions accurately).

Part 1.
Read each following self-descriptions and then rate how much you agree or disagree that
each one describes the way you generally are in love relationships. Using the scale shown
below, please select the number that best describes you and put that number in the blank
provided. (Note: The terms ‘close’ and ‘intimate’ refer to psychological or emotional
closeness, not necessarily to sexual intimacy).

1=Disagree 2=Disagree 3=Disgree 4=Mixed or 5=Agree 6=Agree 7=Agree


strongly moderately slightly not sure slightly moderately Strongly

_____ 1. I find it relatively easy to get close to others.

_____ 2. I’m not very comfortable having to depend on other people.

_____ 3. I’m comfortable having others depend on me.

_____ 4. I rarely worry about being abandoned by others.

_____ 5. I don’t like people getting to close to me.

_____ 6. I’m somewhat uncomfortable being too close to others.

_____ 7. I find it difficult to trust others completely.

_____ 8. I’m nervous whenever anyone gets too close too me.

_____ 9. Others often want me to be more intimate than I feel comfortable being.
Hope and Attachment 48

_____ 10. Others are reluctant to get as close as I would like.

_____ 11. I often worry that my partner(s) don’t really love me.

_____ 12. I rarely worry about my partner(s) leaving me.

_____ 13. I often want to merge completely with others, and this desire sometimes scares

them away.

Part 2.

Below, the self-descriptions from above are printed again, this time in paragraphs. Please

check the line next to the single alternative that best describes how you feel in romantic love

relationships (choose just one option).

_____ 1. I am somewhat uncomfortable being close to others; I find it difficult to trust them

completely, difficult to allow myself to depend on them. I am nervous when

anyone gets too close and, often, love partners want me to be more intimate than I

feel comfortable being.

_____ 2. I find that others are reluctant to get as close as I would like. I often worry that my

partner doesn’t really love me or won’t want to stay with me. I want to get very

close to my partner, and this sometimes scares people away.

_____ 3. I find it relatively easy to get close to others and am comfortable depending in them.

I don’t often worry about being abandoned or about someone getting too close to

me.
Hope and Attachment 49

Appendix D

CAP Inventory Form


The next section includes a series of statements which may be applied to yourself. After I
read each of the following statements, answer whether you agree or disagree with each
statement.
Agree Disagree

1. I have always been strong and health………………………………..............A D

2. I am a confused person……………………………………………………….A D

3. People expect too much from me………………………………….……...….A D

4. I am often mixed up………………………………………………………….A D

5. You cannot depend on others…………………………………………………A D

6. I am a happy person…………………………………………………………..A D

7. I am often angry inside……………………………………………………….A D

8. Sometimes I feel all alone in the world………………………………………A D

9. Everything in a home should always be in its place………………………….A D

10. I often feel rejected………………………………………………………….A D

11. I am often lonely inside……………………………………………..............A D

12. Little boys should never learn sissy games………………………………….A D

13. I often feel very frustrated…………………………………………………..A D

14. Children should never disobey……………………………………...............A D

15. Sometimes I fear that I will lose control of myself………………………….A D

16. I sometimes wish that my father would have loved me more……………….A D

17. My telephone number is unlisted……………………………………………A D

18. I sometimes worry that I will not have enough to eat……………………….A D

19. I am an unlucky person………………………………………………………A D

20. I am usually a quiet person…………………………………………………...A D


Hope and Attachment 50

Agree Disgree

21. Things have usually gone against me in life…………………...…..……..A D

22. I have a child who is bad…………………………………………………A D

23. I sometimes feel worthless………………………………………………..A D

24. I sometimes feel worthless………………………………………………..A D

25. I often feel worried……………………………………………………….A D

26. A child should never talk back………………………………………...….A D

27. I am often easily upset…………………………………………………….A D

28. I am often worried inside………………………………………………….A D

29. People have caused me a lot of pain……………………………………….A D

30. Children should stay clean…………………………………………………A D

31. I have a child who gets in trouble a lot…………………………………….A D

32. I find it hard to relax……………………………………………………….A D

33. These days a person doesn’t really know on whom one can count………...A D

34. My life is happy…………………………………………………………….A D

35. I have a physical handicap………………………………………………….A D

36. Children should have play cloths and good cloths…………………………A D

37. Other people do not understand how I feel…………………………………A D

38. Children should be quiet and listen…………………………………………A D

39. I have several close friends in my neighborhood…………………………...A D

40. My family fights a lot………………………...……………………………..A D

41. I have headaches…………………………………..………………………..A D

42. I do not laugh very much……………………………..…………………….A D

43. I have fears no one knows about…………………………...……………….A D

44. My family has problems getting along………………………………………A D

45. Life often seems useless to me………………………………………………A D


Hope and Attachment 51

Agree Disagree

46. People do not understand me………………………………………….…A D

47. I often feel worthless…………………………………………………….A D

48. Other people have made my life happy………………………………….A D

49. Sometimes I do not know why I act as I do……………………………..A D

50. I have many personal problems………………………………………….A D

51. I often feel very upset……………………………………………………A D

52. My life is good……………………………………………………………A D

53. A home should be spotless………………………………………………..A D

54. I am easily upset by my problems………………………………………..A D

55. My parents did not understand me……………………………………….A D

56. Many things in life make me angry……………………………………….A D

57. My child has special problems……………………………………………A D

58. Children should be seen and not heard……………………………………A D

59. I am often depressed………………………………………………...…….A D

60. I am often upset……………………………………………………………A D

61. A good child keeps his toys and clothes neat and orderly…………………A D

62. Children should always be neat…………………………………..………..A D

63. I have a child who is slow………………………………………………… A D

64. A parent must use punishment if he wants to control a child’s behavior….. A D

65. Children should never caused trouble………………………………………A D

66. A child needs very strict rules……………………………………………….A D

67. I often feel better than others………………………………………………..A D

68. I am often upset and do not know why……………………………………...A D

69. I have a good sex life…………………………………………….………….A D

70. I often feel very alone………………………………………………….…….A D


Hope and Attachment 52

Agree Disagree

71. I often alone……………………………………………………….……….A D

72. Right now, I am deeply in love...…………………………………………..A D

73. My family has many problems………………..……………………………A D

74. Other people have made my life hard…………………..………………….A D

75. I laugh some almost every day…………………………………..…………A D

76. I sometimes worry that my needs will not be met…………………………..A D

77. I often feel afraid……………………………………………………………A D


Hope and Attachment 53

Table 1. Descriptive Statistics for total hope, total CAPI and hope and CAPI among
attachment styles

N Minimum Maximum Mean Std. Deviation

Hope 45 29 64 48.60 7.892

CAPI 45 17.00 330.00 154.8751 91.16539

Hope Avoidant 18 37 57 46.50 6.555

Anxious 6 47 64 53.83 6.735

Secure 20 29 63 49.05 8.971

Total 44 29 64 48.66 7.974

CAPI Avoidant 18 43 330 193.81 100.278

Anxious 6 48 243 115.40 71.380

Secure 20 17 329 129.87 79.082

Total 44 17 330 154.05 92.051


Hope and Attachment 54

Table 2. Analyses of Variances of hope, CAPI between attachment styles


Sum of Squares df Mean Square F Sig.

Hope Between
247.603 2 123.802 2.042 .143
Groups

Within
2486.283 41 60.641
Groups

Total 2733.886 43

CAPI Between
49109.262 2 24554.631 3.194 .051
Groups

Within
315245.716 41 7688.920
Groups

Total 364354.977 43
Hope and Attachment 55

Table 3. Correlations between hope, subscales of hope, CAPI and attachment styles
CAPI Hope total Secure Avoidant Anxious

CAPI Pearson
1 -.388(**) .009 .515(**) .198
Correlation

Sig. (2-tailed) . .008 .953 .000 .193

N 45 45 45 45 45

Hope total Pearson


-.388(**) 1 .096 -.294(*) .051
Correlation

Sig. (2-tailed) .008 . .533 .050 .741

N 45 45 45 45 45

Secure Pearson
.009 .096 1 -.131 .021
Correlation

Sig. (2-tailed) .953 .533 . .391 .893

N 45 45 45 45 45
Avoidant Pearson
.515(**) -.294(*) -.131 1 .457(**)
Correlation

Sig. (2-tailed) .000 .050 .391 . .002

N 45 45 45 45 45

Anxious Pearson
.198 .051 .021 .457(**) 1
Correlation

Sig. (2-tailed) .193 .741 .893 .002 .

N 45 45 45 45 45

** Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed).

* Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level (2-tailed).


Hope and Attachment 56

Table 4. Correlations between hope and CAPI among different attachment styles

Hope CAPI Hope CAPI Hope CAPI

Avoidant Avoidant Anxious Anxious Secure Secure

Hope Avoidant Pearson


1 -.124 -.605 -.249 .063 .150
Correlation

Sig. (2-tailed) . .623 .203 .634 .804 .553

N 18 18 6 6 18 18

CAPI Avoidant Pearson


-.124 1 .021 -.823(*) .504(*) -.360
Correlation

Sig. (2-tailed) .623 . .968 .044 .033 .142

N 18 18 6 6 18 18

Hope Anxious Pearson


-.605 .021 1 .080 -.680 .827(*)
Correlation

Sig. (2-tailed) .203 .968 . .881 .137 .042

N 6 6 6 6 6 6

CAPI Anxious Pearson


-.249 -.823(*) .080 1 -.528 .348
Correlation

Sig. (2-tailed) .634 .044 .881 . .282 .499

N 6 6 6 6 6 6

Hope Secure Pearson


.063 .504(*) -.680 -.528 1 -.597(**)
Correlation

Sig. (2-tailed) .804 .033 .137 .282 . .005

N 18 18 6 6 20 20

CAPI Secure Pearson


.150 -.360 .827(*) .348 -.597(**) 1
Correlation

Sig. (2-tailed) .553 .142 .042 .499 .005 .

N 18 18 6 6 20 20

* Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level (2-tailed).

** Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed).


Hope and Attachment 57

Figure 1. A scatter plot of CAPI and hope

60

50
Hopetotal

40

30

0.00 100.00 200.00 300.00


CAPI
Hope and Attachment 58

Figure 2. Scatter plot of hope and CAPI in secure attachment style

60.00

50.00
Hope Secure

40.00

30.00

0.00 100.00 200.00 300.00


CAPI Secure
Hope and Attachment 59

Figure 3. Scatter plot of hope and CAPI in avoidant attachment style

60.00

55.00
Hope Avoidant

50.00

45.00

40.00

35.00

0.00 100.00 200.00 300.00


CAPI Avoidant
Hope and Attachment 60

Figure 4. Scatter plot of hope and CAPI in anxious attachment style

65.00

60.00
Hope Anxious

55.00

50.00

45.00

50.00 100.00 150.00 200.00 250.00 300.00 350.00


CAPI Anxious