An investigation of caregivers' perceptions regarding child-caregiver attachment in institutionalized children.

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dc.contributor.author Koursaris, Julie
dc.date.accessioned 2010-02-25T07:53:20Z
dc.date.available 2010-02-25T07:53:20Z
dc.date.issued 2010-02-25T07:53:20Z
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10539/7555
dc.description.abstract This study investigated caregivers’ perceptions regarding the formation of attachment relationships with the institutionalized children under their care. Furthermore, their perceptions regarding the specific qualities and behaviours that caregivers should display in relating to children were explored. Finally, this study investigated the meaning that caregivers attribute to behaviours exhibited by children that may be suggestive of attachment difficulties. The study is theoretically grounded in John Bowlby’s attachment theory and employed a qualitative research design. The sample consisted of eight caregivers from a Soweto based orphanage. The participants were interviewed and the resultant data was analyzed through the use of thematic content analysis. The analysis of the data revealed several themes which allowed for a discussion of the convergence and divergence between attachment theory and the participants’ views on child development. The findings of this research suggest that many of the caregivers’ perceptions about relating to children are congruent with attachment theory, which, if understood and applied, may encourage attachment security. They were however also found to hold several beliefs and engage in certain behaviours which may negatively impact on attachment security in children. The participants were found, almost unanimously, to feel that focused attachments with the children should be avoided and generally seemed to have a limited understanding of such relationships. Furthermore, it was found that several of the caregiver characteristics that participants deemed important are congruent with attachment theory. However, they were often not able to fully explain how these caregiver traits may benefit the children in the long term. This suggests that caregivers may not perceive the pivotal role they play in the development of the children for whom they care. Finally, while the participants did present good insights regarding the behaviours displayed by the children under their care, they did not comprehend the possibility of such behaviours as being suggestive of attachment difficulties. These findings suggest the need for several interventions, directed at both orphanages at the organizational level, and at caregivers themselves. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.title An investigation of caregivers' perceptions regarding child-caregiver attachment in institutionalized children. en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US


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