In order to help youth succeed in today’s challenging world, we explore new approaches to understand their emotional and cognitive functioning in the context of family experiences. In this study, the relationship between attachment security and self-concept was examined in middle childhood, as research has shown that both attachment quality and self-concept predict academic success. A total of 78 children (M = 8.9 years) participated in the study. The Kaplan-Main Family Drawing measure was utilized to assess children’s representation of family relationships. The Coping Strategies Questionnaire-Revised (CSQ-R) was administered to assess three aspects (preoccupied attachment, avoidant attachment, and felt security) of the child’s perceived mother-child relationship. Self-concept was measured using the Self-Perception Profile for Children in grades 3-8 and the Pictorial Scale of Perceived Competence and Social Acceptance for Young Children in grades 2 and under. Children with a secure attachment representation, as determined by their family drawings, had a significantly higher self-concept in multiple domains, including global self-worth, than children with an insecure attachment representation. Felt security, as measured by the CSQ-R, was also positively correlated with most domains of self-concept. The findings suggest that an important developmental milestone such as self-concept, a critical component for academic success, can be predicted by attachment security in middle childhood with user-friendly measures of attachment if utilizing multiple measures concurrently.
Keywords: Middle childhood, self-concept, attachment security, family relationships