Latin American Attachment studies: A narrative review

Katherine Fourment

Producción científica: Contribución a una revistaArtículorevisión exhaustiva


Attachment theory´s core hypotheses (universality, normativity, sensitivity, and competence) are assumed to be applicable worldwide. However, the majority of studies on attachment theory have been conducted in Western countries, and the extent to which these core hypotheses are supported by research conducted in Latin America has never been systematically addressed. The purpose of this systematic narrative literature review is to provide an integrative discussion of the current body of empirical studies concerning attachment theory conducted in Latin American countries. For that purpose, a search was conducted in four electronic databases (Web of Science, PsycInfo, SciELO, and Redalyc) and 82 publications on attachment and/or sensitivity met inclusion criteria. None of the studies reported cases in which an attachment relationship was absent, and a predominance of secure attachment patterns was found, mainly for non-risk samples (NRS). Sensitivity levels were generally deemed adequate in NRS, and related to attachment quality. Attachment security and caregivers’ sensitivity were positively associated with child outcomes. Attachment-based intervention studies mostly showed efficacy. In conclusion, Latin American research supports the key theoretical assumptions of attachment theory, mainly in samples of urban middle-class NRS. However, the field of attachment-related research would be enriched by also investing in Latin American studies on caregiving rooted in local concepts and theories.
Idioma originalEspañol
Páginas (desde-hasta)653-676
Número de páginas24
PublicaciónInfant Mental Health Journal
EstadoPublicada - 5 jun. 2022

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