Date of Submission

Spring 2018

Academic Programs and Concentrations

Psychology; Psychology; Human Rights

Project Advisor 1

Sarah Dunphy-Lelii

Project Advisor 2

Thomas Keenan

Abstract/Artist's Statement

The United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child (CRC) establishes a broad universal understanding of the fundamental and inherent rights that children possess. In addition to the child’s basic needs, this international agreement emphasizes the child’s right to family, identity, and health. The CRC addresses situations in which orphanages are necessary for the well-being of the child, but this form of care is seen as a last resort. Some scholars have previously studied the potentially harmful consequences of non-familial care and offer attachment theory as an explanation. Although family-based non-familial care attempts to foster healthy development and attachment between children and caregivers, orphanages in developing countries where there are limited resources to provide such care draw attention to the rights outlined in the CRC. Considering the prevalence of international adoption, the present study focuses on early attachment experiences in orphanages in Guatemala and the enduring effects these experiences have on identity development. This study addresses the role of difference in ethnicity between children and caregivers and its relation to identity as the CRC discusses, an important topic given the prominence of transnational adoption today. Exploration is seen as a major component of attachment styles and identity development. Using attachment measures and an identity development measure in a longitudinal study, ethnicity similarity between children and their primary caregiver is predicted to be a mediator between attachment style and identity development scores. In hopes of improving the conditions of orphanages to promote healthy development, the present study examines the role of ethnicity in exploration and how these concepts are linked to secure attachment and healthy identity development.

Open Access Agreement

On-Campus only

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.

Strange Situation Scoring.pdf (246 kB)
The Strange Situation will be utilized as one of the measures in the present study. The scoring rubric is provided by Waters (2002).

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