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Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Educational and Counseling Psychology

First Advisor

Linda Webster

First Committee Member

Rachelle Hackett

Second Committee Member

Judith Hoorn

Third Committee Member

Mamie Darlington


This study examined associations between foster mothers' state of mind in regards to attachment (as measured by the Adult Attachment Projective [AAP]) and foster mothers' descriptions of their foster children (as measured by the Parent Development Interview [PDI]) for 37 foster mothers. Sixteen foster mothers were classified as secure-autonomous while twenty-one were classified as insecure in regards to attachment. Approximately sixty percent of the insecure foster mothers were classified as unresolved with regards to attachment. It was hypothesized that there would be differences between secure and insecure foster mothers on the 13 PDI subscale scores. Results indicated that the two groups (secure and insecure foster mothers) differed significantly on 7 constructs in the PDI; namely pleasure, business of caregiving, achievement, comfort/safe haven, perspective taking, enmeshment, pleasure and pain. Findings suggest foster mothers' attachment status is related to their representations of their foster children. The distributions of attachment classifications in the current study are consistent with those found in other studies and suggest that foster mothers are unresolved in regards to attachment. It is suggested that focus should be on further research and the development of intervention programs related to quality foster parenting. The implications of these findings and directions for future research are discussed.




9780493646268 , 0493646264

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