The relationship of attachment and coping strategy use to later adjustment to starting secondary school
This study reports on a prospective longitudinal study of children during the transition from primary school to secondary school at age 11. It follows a single cohort of children from their respective primary schools through the first term of their secondary school. The relationships of attachment and coping strategy use to later adjustment, in terms of self-report anxiety. teacher-rated pro social behaviour, attendance rates, academic performance, and behaviour problems, were examined. Attachment was assessed using a novel family drawing measure. The drawing measure provides a number of different scores, and of these the total number of marker signs indicating insecure attachment was predictive of later poorer adjustment. Attachment category as judged from family drawings was not predictive of later adjustment, although high inter-rater reliability proved difficult to obtain. No strong, stable relationship between coping strategy use and later adjustment was found. The study also reports on the usefulness of the family drawing measure with the age group concerned, and comments on potential problems and directions for future research.