Explaining gender differences in preschoolers’ attachment style
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- Institutt for psykologi 
Gender has throughout most attachment literature not been considered an important factor in the development of individual differences in attachment. However, some studies on preschoolers, especially using story completion/narrative measures of attachment representations, have found prominent gender differences. The present study aims to replicate such gender differences, and to examine possible explanatory variables. This will be done by using a large community sample of preschoolers from Norway and testing attachment styles found with the Manchester Child Attachment Story Task (MCAST). The overall attachment classification found in the sample was secure attachment, but girls were found securely attached significantly more often than boys, and boys were significantly more often found with insecure-avoidant and disorganized attachment style compared to girls. To explain these differences, four hypothesis were then proposed and aimed to explain gender differences in attachment style; (1) methodological artefacts (measuring the content or structure of the narrative), (2) categorical versus continuous measurements, (3) gendered coping styles, and (4) gender differences in psychological capabilities and traits. Some support was found for the first hypothesis, and no support was found for the other three hypotheses.