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Open access

Marta Szpak and Marta Białecka-Pikul

Abstract

The main aim of the study was to check: (a) attachment-related differences in alexithymia and (b) the mediating role of mind-mindedness in attachment-alexithymia relationship. Method: Attachment (PAM; Berry et al., 2007), alexithymia (TAS-20; Bagby, Taylor, & Parker, 1994) and mind-mindedness (“describe your friend” method; Meins et al, 2008) were measured in the sample of 128 Polish undergraduates. Results: Positive associations were seen between attachment anxiety and overall alexithymia scores and difficulty identifying emotions. Attachment avoidance was positively associated with overall alexithymia score, difficulty describing feelings and externally oriented thinking. Mind-mindedness was not related to neither attachment or alexithymia. Conclusion: There are attachment-related differences in alexithymia, but mind-mindedness seems not to mediate attachment-alexithymia relationship.

Open access

Joanna Jakubowska, Marta Szpak and Marta Białecka-Pikul

Abstract

Parents influence the development of children’s social understanding by using mental state terms that denote concepts which children are about to develop (Taumoepeau & Ruffman, 2006, 2008) or via the usage of contrastive and/or causal mental state talk (Peterson & Slaughter, 2003). The present longitudinal study examined parent-child dyads and assessed parental mental state talk (MST) during picture-book narration. Seventy-four parents told their children a story twice, when the children were 2 and 4 years old. The same wordless picture book was used to elicit the narration at each time point. Two criteria were used to classify MST: type of utterance (affective, perceptual, or cognitive) and complexity of utterance (simple or clarifying). Parental MST was more frequent in narrations to 4-yearolds than to 2-year-olds. Parents directed more complex MST to 4-year-old children than to 2-year-olds. Affective references were most common at both time points, while cognitive utterances hardly occurred. Nevertheless, growing trends were observed in all types of MST. The results suggest that parents match their MST to the children’s level of social understanding development.