[Attachment Representations, Critical Life Events and ADHD in Boys at 6 to 10 Years of Age].

Rampp, Gertrud; Roesler, Christoph; Peter, Jessica (2020). [Attachment Representations, Critical Life Events and ADHD in Boys at 6 to 10 Years of Age]. Praxis der Kinderpsychologie und Kinderpsychiatrie, 69(1), pp. 40-59. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht 10.13109/prkk.2020.69.1.40

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The importance of the attachment theory was repeatedly pointed out in the literature for understanding children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) with regard to their emotional state. Symptoms of ADHD, like attention deficits, motor agitation and impulsivity are seen as risk factors for insecure attachment in the parent-child relationship. The acquisition of attachment representations in children with ADHD might help to describe - and individual classify - the syndromes of this behavioural disorder better. The aims of the present study are, therefore, the investigation of attachment representations and critical life events in boys with ADHD. We focused on boys only, since they are particularly prone to develop ADHD. Using the story-completion technique, we investigated whether boys with ADHD showed insecure attachment more frequently compared to boys without ADHD. 31 boys with ADHD at six to ten years of age were recruited in two different clinics. Of these, 29 % showed a secure and 71 % showed an insecure attachment representation. Within insecure attachment, the ambivalent attachment representation occurred most frequently (41 %). On average, we found 2.3 critical life events. The enhanced frequency of the ambivalent attachment representation indicates that ADHD might be linked to externalizing behaviour. The results support the hypothesis that ADHD is increasingly associated with insecure attachment. The binding theory is able to contribute to a better understanding of the emotional state in boys with ADHD.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Further Contribution)


04 Faculty of Medicine > University Psychiatric Services > University Hospital of Geriatric Psychiatry and Psychotherapy

UniBE Contributor:

Peter, Jessica


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht




Jessica Peter

Date Deposited:

20 Jan 2020 09:44

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:33

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:




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