Accessibility statement

Mind-mindedness and Attachment

In 2001, we began an ESRC-funded longitudinal study to explore how early mind-mindedness predicts children’s attachment. We recruited 206 mothers and children from the Tees Valley area in North East England, and first observed these families when the children were aged 8 months. We studied these families throughout the children’s early lives, and last saw the children when they were aged 10.

Children’s attachment was assessed at multiple time points in this study, and these assessments will enable us to explore (a) how mind-mindedness relates to a variety of attachment measures, and (b) whether attachment is stable over time. A number of studies have reported that higher levels of mind-mindedness in the first year of life predict early infant–parent secure attachment (Meins et al. (2001) (PDF , 223kb),Meins et al. (2012) (PDF , 231kb),Meins (2013) (PDF , 304kb)) but previous research has not investigated whether mind-mindedness predicts attachment security later in development.

Studies suggest that the attachment security of over half of children changes over time. Our existing dataset has different concurrent measures of attachment, as well as the same measures at different time points. This will enable us to explore concordance across measures and timepoints in great depth.

We are in the process of  following up these young people when they are 18 years of age and are trying to reconnect with all the original 206 participants.

The team can be contacted via elizabeth.meins@york.ac.uk