Attachment between infants and mothers in China: Strange situation procedure findings to date and a new sample

Marc Archer, Miriam Steele, Jijun Lan, Xiaochun Jin, Francisca Herreros, Howard Steele

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


The first distribution of Chinese infant-mother (n = 61) attachment classifications categorised by trained and reliability-tested coders is reported with statistical comparisons to US norms and previous Chinese distributions. Three-way distribution was 15% insecure-avoidant, 62% secure, 13% insecure-resistant, and 4-way distribution was 13% insecure-avoidant, 58% secure, 16% insecure-resistant,13% disorganised. These findings support the hypotheses that: (1) consistent with global norms the majority of infants will show secure attachments to mother; (2) insecure-resistant attachments will be greater than insecure-avoidant attachments in this interdependent cultural setting; and (3) disorganised attachments will be comparable to Western norms. Pooled samples from previously reported Chinese samples demonstrate deviations from US norms on all categories including relatively low proportions of avoidant and disorganised classifications, especially among samples from the South. Culture-specific childrearing practices and the role of training and reliability-testing for coders are suggested as possible contributors to these differences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)485-491
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Development
Issue number6
Early online date30 Mar 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2015


  • avoidant
  • China
  • Chinese children
  • disorganised
  • Infant-mother attachment
  • resistant
  • secure


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