Lecompte V, Moss E, Cyr C, Pascuzzo K. (2014). Preschool attachment and self-esteem in the development of preadolescent anxiety and depressive symptoms. Attachment & Human Development. 16: 242-260.
This study examined the longitudinal association between preschool attachment patterns, the development of anxiety and depression at preadolescence and the mediational role of self-esteem. Child–mother attachment classifications of 68 children (33 girls) were assessed between 3–4 years of age (M = 3.7 years, SD = 4.4 months) using the Separation-Reunion Procedure. At age 11–12 (M = 11.7 years, SD = 4.3 months), anxiety and depressive symptoms (Dominic Interactive Questionnaire), and self-esteem (Self-Perception Profile for Children) were also evaluated. Preadolescents who had shown disorganized attachment at preschool age scored higher on both anxiety and depression and lower on self-esteem than those who had shown secure and insecure-organized attachment strategies. Self-esteem was a partial mediator of the association between preschool disorganization and symptoms of preadolescent depression, but the model was not supported for anxiety. These findings support the idea that early attachment and self-esteem should be central themes in prevention programs with young children.