1. Earned-security is a classification given to adults who endured unloving, difficult parent-child relationships during childhood, but who also currently have secure representations of attachment. Continuous-security is a classification given to adults who had secure early attachment relationship with parents and who also have a secure state of mind in adulthood. Based on use of the Adult Attachment Interview (AAI) which assesses attachment security in adulthood, adults are classified as “earned-secure” if they describe negative relationship experiences with caregivers during childhood, yet are able to talk openly and coherently about these experiences. Conceptualization and criteria used to define earned-security in past research has varied thus making the correlates of earned-security not well understood.
2. Based on the results of the study, please describe two important differences in the histories of earned-secure versus continuous and insecure women
a. The first hypothesis of the study tested whether, after controlling for depression, earned-secure and continuous-secure women would recount greater emotional support from a single alternative support figure than insecure women. An ANCOVA confirmed that even after controlling for depression, earned-secure, continuous-secure, and insecure women differ in the quality of emotional support they recall having received from a single alternative support figure. Moreover, least significant differences (LSD) post hoc analyses confirmed that coders gave higher ratings on emotional support for earned-secure and continuous-secure women as compared with insecure women.
b. Similarly, the second hypothesis was that after controlling for depression, earned-secure and continuous-secure women would recount greater emotional support on average than insecure women. To get these findings, the emotional support received from all of the alternative support figures for each participant was averaged. An ANCOVA showed that even after controlling for depression, earned-secure, continuous-secure and insecure women differ in the average amount of emotional support they recall having received from their alternative support figures. LSD post hoc analyses showed that coders gave higher ratings on emotional support for earned-secure women as compared with continuous-secure and insecure women. The researchers noted that this result was slightly different than they predicted, as continuous-secure and insecure women did not differ in the amount of emotional support they received on average.
c. As shown in table 2 under the results, earned-secure women received significantly higher mean levels of emotional support from both a single quality figure as well as on average from all figures as compared to insecure and continuous-secure women.
3. How do earned-secure women compare as mothers (in terms of their ability to form secure attachments with their children) with continuous-secure and insecure mothers?
a. The researchers hypothesized that earned-secure and continuous-secure women would be more likely than insecure women to have securely attached infants. The results confirmed this