Attachment styles in maltreated children: A comparative study

Ricky Finzi*, Orna Cohen, Yafa Sapir, Abraham Weizman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


The study compares the emotional impact of maltreatment on the attachment styles in three groups of children aged 6-12 years: children of drug-user fathers (n = 76), physically abused children (n = 41), neglected children (n = 38); non-abused/non-neglected children (n = 35) - control group. The secure style characterized 52% of the children of drug-user fathers and the insecure style characterized the other 48% (anxious/ambivalent or avoidant); physically abused children were characterized mainly by the avoidant attachment style, and neglected children by the anxious/ambivalent style. The conclusion is that physically abused children are at risk of antisocial behavior and sustained suspicion towards others; neglected children are at risk of social withdrawal, social rejection and feelings of incompetence, and children of drug-user fathers may be at risk of behavioral problems and drug use in adolescence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-128
Number of pages16
JournalChild Psychiatry and Human Development
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


FundersFunder number
Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, Israel Abraham Weizman
Tel Aviv University


    • Attachment Styles
    • Children of Drug User Father
    • Neglected Children
    • Physically Abused Children


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