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Attachment relationship to teacher and intensity of emotional expression in children with Down syndrome in regular kindergarten and nursery school

We investigated attachment behaviours of children with Down syndrome (DS) toward their preschool teacher and examined whether children's emotional expressivity predicted the incidence of attachment behaviours. We hypothesised that children with DS will show a low level of secure attachment to their teacher and that emotional competence will be associated with secure attachment. Method Forty-one children with DS (21 males, 20 females, [mean] mental age = 34.6 months, SD = 11.9) were matched with 51 typically developing (TD) children (24 males, 27 females, [mean] mental age = 32.2 months, SD = 17.5). Attachment and socio-emotional development were assessed for each child. Results Children with DS presented lower scores of attachment, affiliation, anger, and emotional competence compared to TD children. Affiliation in high-stress situations was predictive of attachment behaviours. Conclusions The findings show that children with DS were less attached to the teacher and less emotionally expressive compared to TD children. (author abstract)
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