Attachment in infancy and personal space regulation in early adolescence

Yair Bar-Haim*, Ora Aviezer, Yair Berson, Abraham Sagi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study longitudinally assessed associations between secure and ambivalent attachment with mothers, fathers and professional caregivers in infancy, and personal space regulation and perceived interpersonal competence in 64 early adolescents (31 boys, 33 girls). Children classified as ambivalently attached to their mothers and/or professional caregivers in infancy displayed significantly larger permeability of personal space as compared with children classified as securely attached. Attachment classifications with fathers were not associated with personal space behavior at 12 years of age. Children who had an insecure attachment relationship with both the mother and the professional caregiver in infancy displayed smaller personal space boundaries, and tolerated larger intrusions into their personal space as compared with children who had two secure attachments in infancy. Finally, perceived interpersonal competence was positively correlated with personal space permeability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-83
Number of pages16
JournalAttachment and Human Development
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002


  • Attachment
  • Father
  • Intimacy
  • Longitudinal
  • Personal space


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