Marinus van IJzendoorn, born in Tiel, the Netherlands, in 1952. Ph.D. from the Freie Universität Berlin. Professor of Theoretical and Historical Pedagogics at Leiden University.
Fellow (1 September 1996 - 30 June 1997)During my stay at NIAS I worked on three topics related to the evaluation of attachment theory and research.
- The cross-cultural validity of attachment theory. Through a narrative review of cross-cultural studies on attachment in Africa, China, Japan, and Israel (kibbutz) I was able to test the four core hypotheses of attachment theory: universality, normativity, sensitivity and competence. The available cross-cultural data appear to be compatible with attachment theory.
- Determinants of attachment: parental sensitivity and infant temperament. Through several meta-analyses I showed (together with M. de Wolff) that maternal sensitivity is an important but not exclusive determinant of infant attachment security; paternal sensitivity is much less important. Infant temperament does not significantly affect infant attachment formation.
- Sequelae of attachment. A narrative review of the research literature on the association between attachment, and emergent morality and aggression led to an integrative socio-emotional model of antisocial behaviour. Disorganised attachment is identified as a major risk factor in the emergence of antisocial behaviour.
- Holocaust: The study on the intergenerational transmission of Holocaust experiences led to the preliminary suggestion that the first generation of Holocaust survivors managed to cope impressively well with adapting to life after the war. Nevertheless, Holocaust survivors seem to be liable to irrational thought processes more than the members of an Israeli comparison group.
- Day care: Attunement between child rearing in the family and in the care centre appears to be virtually absent. Only large discrepancies between the two child care settings, however, may affect the children's well-being in a negative way.