Increasing evidence suggests that attachment representations take at least two forms: a secure base script and an autobiographical narrative of childhood caregiving experiences. This study presents data from the first 26 years of the Minnesota Longitudinal Study of Risk and Adaptation (N = 169), examining the developmental origins of secure base script knowledge in a high-risk sample and testing alternative models of the developmental sequencing of the construction of attachment representations. Results demonstrated that secure base script knowledge was predicted by observations of maternal sensitivity across childhood and adolescence. Furthermore, findings suggest that the construction of a secure base script supports the development of a coherent autobiographical representation of childhood attachment experiences with primary caregivers by early adulthood.
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© 2016 The Authors. Child Development © 2016 Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.