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Citation Information

Type Thesis or Dissertation - Master of Science
Title A qualitative explor attachment among wa
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2013
URL https://lib.ugent.be/fulltxt/RUG01/002/062/852/RUG01-002062852_2013_0001_AC.pdf
The conflict in northern Uganda can be described as "one of the longest running, most complex and
brutal conflicts on the African continent in recent history" (Spitzer & Twikirize, 2012, p. 69). Over
a time span of twenty years, 300 000 persons deceased (Kisseka-Ntale, 2007) and approximately 1.5
up to 2 million people got displaced (Pham, Vinck & Stover, 2009). Hence, the context in which the
current research was executed is different from the one in which Mary Ainsworth's first empirical
study on attachment among Ganda infants in the early 1950s was embedded (Ainsworth, 1967).
From this perspective, one can regard this dissertation as going back to the roots of early attachment
research surrounded by similar and other contextual factors influencing the daily life of
communities. This influence is also true for relationships, may they be social or attachment-related
(Machel, 2000; Rieder & Choonara, 2011). Also cultural values and beliefs could be seen as one of
these influencing factors (Chuang, 2009). Some decades have passed and lots of cross-cultural
studies have been executed on attachment theory, often full of contradictory findings. Originally,
this research centred around proving the (in)validity of the Strange Situation procedure, designed by
Ainsworth and her colleagues to categorize children as being securely or insecurely attached to their
caregiver(s) (Ainsworth & Bell, 1970). Nowadays, this focus has been replaced by the search for
contextualized meanings of attachment behaviours (Harwood, Miller & Irizarry, 1995). The current
study is an example of the latter trend as we wanted to explore attachment and supportive
relationships from an emic perspective (Berry, 1989). Therefore, it was chosen to use qualitative
research methods to deepen our understanding on this subject from the adolescent's point of view,
which we see as inherently valuable (Armstrong, Hill & Secker, 2000).

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