Relève étoile Paul-Gérin-Lajoie 
August 2018

Florence Charest

PhD student in Psychology
Université du Québec à Montréal

Award-winning publication: Attachment representations in sexually abused preschoolers: a comparative study

Published in: Attachment & Human Development



The study led by Florence Charest documents attachment representations in a group of preschool children who were victims of sexual abuse. The findings reveal that the children experience more attachment insecurity than their peers who did not suffer from sexual abuse and that boys who were sexually abused are at particular risk of overactivation and disorganization. The results support the need to consider the attachment representations of victims of sexual abuse when implementing effective treatment programs. Targeting the parent-child relationship in interventions could help foster secure attachment, which would, in turn, sustain optimal development in this vulnerable population.