Infant attachment security and affective-cognitive information processing at age 3

Jay Belsky, Becky Spritz, Keith Crnic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

126 Scopus citations


Three-year olds' attention toward and memory of affectively laden information presented in specially designed puppet shows were examined to test the hypothesis, based on Bowlby's theory of attachment and the internal-working-model construct central to the theory, that children with secure attachment histories (measured at 12 months) would prove less distractable during positive than negative events and would remember positive events more accurately than negative events, with the reverse being true of children with insecure attachment histories. Support for this hypothesis emerged in the case of memory but not attention (for which no attachment effects emerged), even when infants' temperament-emotionality and general verbal intelligence were taken into consideration. Results are discussed in terms of life-course implications of affective-cognitive information processing and directions for future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-114
Number of pages4
JournalPsychological Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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