A cross-cultural study of infant attachment patterns in Korea and the U.S. : associations among infant temperament, maternal personality, separation anxiety and depression
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This study examined differences in the distribution of attachment classifications between Eastern and Western cultures by comparing the behavior of 12-18 month old infants and their mothers in Korea (N = 87) and the U.S. (N =113) during the Strange Situation. Finding that the distribution of secure vs. insecure infants in Korea was similar to the global distribution provided further evidence for the validity of the Situation Situation in Eastern cultures. However, compared with Western cultures, as similar results from the studies in other Eastern cultures of Japan and Indonesia, fewer babies were classified as avoidant. Moreover, Korean infants and their mothers during the Strange Situation showed different behaviors, compared with the behaviors of American babies and their mothers. Specifically, Korean infants showed less proximity and contact maintaining behaviors. These behaviors were related to behaviors of Korean mothers and infants at the reunion of the strange situation. Compared with the Austin sample, at the reunion, Korean mothers immediately approached their babies immediately and stayed on the floor and interact with them during the whole reunion episode. Moreover, Korean infants tended to less approach when they were united. These findings are discussed with respect to culture differences in caregiving.