Global Insecure Attachment Predicts Indicators of Caregiving Faith Development among Australianbased African Pentecostals in New South Wales
Keywords:attachment theory, compensation and correspondence models, global attachment styles, attachment to God, African diaspora, caregiving faith
This article reports on the association between global attachment styles and aspects of caregiving faith development that involve representations of God as a symbolic attachment figure in a cross-sectional cohort of 261 African Pentecostals in New South Wales, Australia. In particular, the applicability of the correspondence and compensation hypotheses of the adult attachment theory was tested by conducting bivariate and multivariate analyses, controlling for covariates such as age, gender, education level, and relationship status. After adjusting for covariates, insecure-avoidant attachment in human relationship experiences remained a significant predictor of indicators of caregiving faith, which involved proximity to God, perceiving God as a safe haven and secure base, and seeing God as a response to separation anxiety, thus supporting the caregiving faith compensation model in the attachment-religion framework and the role of trait-based attachment processes in faith development. Additional support for the compensatory attachment model is seen in the moderation analysis results-accounting for about 57% of the variance in attachment-affiliation with God-which reveal that African Pentecostals who are not in a relationship (single) and are avoidantly attached showed a trend towards developing attachment-to-God caregiving faith, compared to those in a relationship (married) who had lower level of attachment to God. Several study implications are discussed.
Ainsworth, M.D.S., M.C. Blehar, E. Waters and S. Wall. 1978. Patterns of Attachment: A Psychological Study of the Strange Situation. Lawrence Erlbaum, Hillsdale, NJ.
Augustyn, B.D., T.W. Hall, D.C. Wang and P.C. Hill. 2017. Relational Spirituality: An Attachment-Based Model of Spiritual Development and Psychological Well-Being. Psychology of Religion and Spirituality 9(2): 197-208. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1037/rel0000100.
Ayers, T.S., I.N. Sandler, S.G. West and M.W. Roosa. 1996. A Dispositional and Situational Assessment of Children’s Coping: Testing Alternative Models of Coping. Journal of Personality 64: 923-59. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-6494.1996.tb00949.x.
Beck, R., and A. McDonald. 2004. Attachment to God: The Attachment to God Inventory, Tests of Working Model Correspondence, and an Exploration of Faith Group Differences. Journal of Psychology and Theology 32(2): 92-103. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1177/009164710403200202.
Bowlby, J. 1982.  Attachment and Loss. Vol. 1, Attachment. Basic Books, New York.
Bradshaw, M., and B.V. Kent. 2017. Prayer, Attachment to God, and Changes in Psychological Well-Being in Later Life. Journal of Aging and Health 30(5): 667-91. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1177/0898264316688116.
Cicirelli, V.G. 2004. God as the Ultimate Attachment Figure for Older Adults. Attachment and Human Development 6(4): 371-88. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/1461673042000303091.
Compas, B.E., J.K. Connor-Smith, H. Saltzman, A.H. Thomsen and M.E. Wadsworth. 2001. Coping with Stress during Childhood and Adolescence: Progress, Problems, and Potential in Theory and Research. Psychological Bulletin 127: 87-127. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-2909.127.1.87.
Counted, V. 2016a. The Psychology of Youth Faith Formation: A Care-giving Faith? Journal of Youth and Theology 15(2): 146-72. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1163/24055093-01502004.. 2016b. God as an Attachment Figure: A Case Study of the God Attachment Language and God Concepts of Anxiously Attached Christian Youths in South Africa. Journal of Spirituality in Mental Health 18(4): 316-46. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/19349637.2016.1176757.. 2018a. Domains of Religious Coping Behaviour among African Christians in NSW Australia: An Exploratory Qualitative Study. Journal of Spirituality in Mental Health. Published online 7 June. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/19349637.2018.1476948.. 2018b. Sense of Place Attitudes and Quality of Life Outcomes among African Residents in a Multicultural Australian Society. Published online 11 September. Journal of Community Psychology. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1002/jcop.22124.. in review. ‘Because You Are Not Like Them’: Pro-environmental Coping Strategy as a Response to Forced Acculturation among Migrants of African Background in NSW Australia.
Counted, V., and M.A. Moustafa. 2017. Between God and Self: Exploring the attachment to God and Authenticity/Inauthenticity Tendencies of South African Christian Youths. Mental Health, Religion & Culture 20(2): 109-27. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/13674676.2017.1326476.
Counted, V., A. Possamai, C. McAuliffe and T. Meade. 2018. Attachment to Australia, Attachment to God, and Quality of Life Outcomes among the African Christian Diaspora in New South Wales: A Cross-sectional Study. Journal of Spirituality in Mental Health. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1002/jcop.22124.
Diamond, A., and P.S. Goldman-Rakic. 1989. Comparison of Human Infants and Rhesus Monkeys on Piaget's AI~ task: Evidence for Dependence on Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex. Experimental Brain Research 74: 24-40. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00248277.
Fischer, B., M. Biscaldi and S. Gezeck. 1997. On the Development of Voluntary and Re?exive Components in Human Saccade Generation. Brain Research 754: 285-97. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0006-8993(97)00094-2.
Fraley, R.C., M.E. Heffernan, A.M. Vicary, and D.C. Tome. 2011. The Experiences in Close Relationships–Relationship Structures Questionnaire: A Method for Assessing Attachment Guidelines across Relationships. Psychological Assessment 23(3): 615–25. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1037/a0022898.
Geary, D.C. 1998. Male, Female: The Evolution of Human Sex Differences. American Psychological Association, Washington, D.C. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1037/10370-000.
Granqvist, P. 2002. Attachment and Religiosity in Adolescence: Cross-sectional and Longitudinal Evaluations. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 28(2): 260-70. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167202282011.
Granqvist, P., and B. Hagekull. 1999. Religiousness and Perceived Childhood Attachment: Pro?ling Socialized Correspondence and Emotional Compensation. Journal for the Scienti?c Study of Religion 38(2): 254-73. Doi: https://doi.org/10.2307/1387793.. 2003. Longitudinal Predictions of Religious Change in Adolescence: Contributions from the Interaction of Attachment and Relationship Status. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships 20: 793-817. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1177/0265407503206005.
Granqvist, P., and L.A. Kirkpatrick. 2004. Religious Conversion and Perceived Childhood Attachment: A Meta-analysis. International Journal for the Psychology of Religion 14: 223-50. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1207/s15327582ijpr1404_1.. 2016. Attachment and Religious Representations and Behaviour. In Handbook of Attachment: Theory, Research, and Clinical Applications, edited by J. Cassidy and P.R. Shaver, 917-40. Guilford, New York, 3rd edn.
Hale, S. 1990. A Global Developmental Trend in Cognitive Processing Speed. Child Development 61: 653-63. Doi: https://doi.org/10.2307/1130951,
Hall, T.W., A. Fujikawa, S. Halcrow, P.C. Hill and H. Delaney. 2009. Attachment to God and Implicit Spirituality: Clarifying Correspondence and Compensation Models. Journal of Psychology and Theology 37(4): 227-42. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1177/009164710903700401.
Kirkpatrick, L.A. 1997. A Longitudinal Study of Changes in Religious Belief and Behavior as a Function of Individual Differences in Adult Attachment Style. Journal for the Scienti?c Study of Religion 36: 207-17. Doi: https://doi.org/10.2307/1387553.. 1998. God as a Substitute Attachment Figure: A Longitudinal Study of Adult Attachment Style and Religious Change in College Students. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 24: 961-73. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167298249004.
Kirkpatrick, L.A., and P.R. Shaver. 1990. Attachment Theory and Religion: Childhood Attachments, Religious Beliefs, and Conversion. Journal for the Scienti?c Study of Religion 29: 315-34. Doi: https://doi.org/10.2307/1386461.. 1992. An Attachment Theoretical Approach to Romantic Love and Religious Belief. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 18: 266-75. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167292183002.
Limke, A., and P.B. May?eld. 2011. Attachment to God: Differentiating the Contributions of Fathers and Mothers Using the Experiences in Parental Relationships Scale. Journal of Psychology and Theology 39(2): 122-29. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1177/009164711103900203.
Luna, B., K.E. Garver, T.A. Urban, N.A. Lazar and J.A. Sweeney. 2004. Maturation of Cognitive Processes from Late Childhood to Adulthood. Child Development 75(5): 1357-72. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8624.2004.00745.x.
Main, M. 1990. Cross-cultural Studies of Attachment Organization: Recent Studies, Changing Methodologies, and the Concept of Conditional Strategies. Human Development 33(1): 48-61. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1159/000276502.
Main, M., N. Kaplan and J. Cassidy. 1985. Security in Infancy, Childhood, and Adulthood: A Move to the Level of Representation. In Growing Points in Attachment Theory and Research, edited by I. Bretherton and E. Waters, 66-106. Monographs of the Society for Child Development 50/1-2. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL. Doi: https://doi.org/10.2307/3333827.
Main, M., and J. Solomon. 1990. Procedures for Identifying Infants as Disorganised/Disoriented during the Ainsworth Strange Situation. In Attachment in the Preschool Years, edited by M.T. Greenberg, D. Cicchetti and E.M. Cummings, 121-60. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL.
Mapedzahama, V., and K. Kwansah-Aidoo. 2017. Blackness as Burden? The Lived Experience of Black Africans in Australia. Sage Open 7(3). Doi: https://doi.org/10.1177/2158244017720483.
McDonald, A., R. Beck, S. Allison and L. Norsworthy. 2005. Attachment to God and Parents: Testing the Correspondence vs. Compensation Hypotheses. Journal of Psychology and Christianity 24: 21-28.
Miner, M. 2009. The Impact of Child–Parent Attachment, Attachment to God and Religious Orientation on Psychological Adjustment. Journal of Psychology and Theology 37(2): 114-24. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1177/009164710903700203.
Sim, T.N., and B.S.M. Loh. 2003. Attachment to God: Measurement and Dynamics. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships 20(3): 373-89. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1177/0265407503020003006.
Walker, L.S., C.A. Smith, J. Garber and D.A. Van Slyke. 1997. Development and Validation of the Pain Response Inventory for Children. Psychological Assessment 9: 392-405. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1037/1040-35188.8.131.522.
Williams, R.J., and F.N. Watts. 2014. Attributions in a Spiritual Healing Context: An Archival Analysis of a 1920s Healing Movement. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 53(1): 90-108.
How to Cite
Equinox Publishing Ltd.