Attachment, Working Models of Self and Others, and God Concept in Kindergarten

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Abstract:

An attachment theoretical model of individual differences in God concepts among kindergarteners was tested. Subjects were 72 kindergarteners (mean age 63 months) from two elementary schools. Children’s concepts of self, other, and God were measured using structured questionnaires. A questionnaire and an incomplete doll story procedure were used to tap the quality of the teacher-child and mother-child relationship. The model was partly supported. Contrary to our expectations, a punishing concept of God was not related to any of the independent variables. However, in line with the model, harmony and closeness in the teacher-child relationship predicted a loving God concept and this association was explained by children’s working models of self. Working models of others predicted a loving God concept. Although the child’s representation of the mother-child attachment relationship was significantly connected to the teacher-child relationship, it was not predictive of the concept of God.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/0021-8294.00080

Affiliations: 1: Free University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 2: Social and Cultural Planning Office, Den Haag, The Netherlands

Publication date: December 1, 2001

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