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Attachment Behavior in Thirteen-Month-Old, Opposite Sex Twins

Brooks-Gunn, Jeanne; Lewis, Michael
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Bulletin
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Behavior Patterns, Infant Behavior, Parent-Child Relationship, Sex Differences, Twins


Seventeen sets of opposite sex twins, 13 to 14 months old, were observed in a playroom situation with their mothers. Attachment behaviors, toy preference, style of play, and activity level were recorded. Analysis of four attachment behaviors indicated that girls looked at, vocalized to, and maintained proximity with their mothers significantly more often than did their brother. Girls also touched their mothers more often, although this difference was not significant. The style of play and activity level measures revealed no sex differences. In terms of specific toy preferences, girls tended to play with the cat and dog more, while boys tended to play more with the pull toy. No other differences in toy preference were found. The effects of social class, activity level, and separation from the mother on infant attachment behavior are discussed. The importance of the mother as a socializing and sex-typing agent is stressed. (Author) (20pp.)

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