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Balanced, Avoidant or Preoccupied? : Attachment strategies of adults who attended independent boarding schools compared with those who attended independent day schools

Faulkner, Judy (2020) Balanced, Avoidant or Preoccupied? : Attachment strategies of adults who attended independent boarding schools compared with those who attended independent day schools. PhD thesis, University of Essex.

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Abstract

The aim of this research was to assess the attachment styles of two groups of people from the same socio-economic categories 1 and 11 as defined by the Standard Occupational Classification system produced by the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys 1991. These two categories reflect backgrounds of professional, managerial or technical members of the middle class. The two groups attended either a fee-paying boarding school or remained at home, attending a fee-paying day school. A review of the literature indicated positive opinions from those who run private schools but the real-life experience of those who attended boarding school, rather than private day school was less than positive. Following a review of the assessment of attachment methodologies, this research utilised the Adult Attachment Interview with twenty-six people who were educated at independent fee-paying schools: fourteen ex-boarding school and twelve ex-day school adults. Their attachment strategies were classified according to the Dynamic Maturational Model of attachment as developed by Crittenden from her doctoral thesis (1983) following her work with Bowlby’s colleague, Mary Ainsworth. This thesis also acknowledges the link between attachment and psychoanalytic theory and draws on examples from both The findings were interesting in that only people in the boarding school group who had received therapy took part. While both groups used a similar attachment strategy, the boarding school group were more likely to be reorganising towards a balanced, secure attachment style than the day school group suggesting perhaps a positive outcome for therapy. However, the research findings demonstrated that the boarding school group had experienced more traumas both prior to and after being sent to boarding school than the day school group did. These findings are discussed together with the limitations of the study and suggestions for further research

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies, Department of
Depositing User: Judith Faulkner
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2020 15:58
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2020 15:58
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/26630

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