Psihologija 2010 Volume 43, Issue 3, Pages: 315-327
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The effects of attachment components on formal-operational thinking

Vukčević Branimir

In this work our aim is to examine how the components of attachment influence the thinking development of adolescents in familial context. We investigated the components of attachment: unresolved family traumatisation, the use of external security base, fear of loss of external security base, negative self concept, negative other concept, capacity for mentalisation, low control of anger. We used a revised Questionnaire for Assessment of Adult and Adolescent Attachment (in original: UPIPAV-R). Formal operations were tested by Bond's Logical Operations Test. We examined the cultural-pedagogical status of the family, the parental mediation characteristic for the development of formal operations, and family property as the aspects of familial context. The sample consisted of 200 pupils aged 14 to 19. According to the attachment theory, secure attachment provides the feel of security in environment exploration, which is the ground of personality development. We assumed that components of attachment contribute formal-operational thinking development and change the influence of familial cultural-supportive tools. The findings show us that the culturalpedagogical status of the family improves formal operations development and unresolved family traumatisation has negative influence. Capacity for mentalisation has a positive indirect effect on thinking development through the influence of the cultural-pedagogical status of the family. The low control of anger has a negative indirect effect on thinking development; it increases the influence of unresolved family traumatisation. Negative self concept has indirect effects on thinking development through increasing this negative influence of unresolved family traumatisation and decreasing the role of familial cultural-supportive tools.

Keywords: formal-operational thinking, attachment, cultural-supportive tools, family

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