Date of Award

Spring 5-2011

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Chair

Jennifer Vonk

Committee Chair Department


Committee Member 2

Sheila Brookes

Committee Member 2 Department

Child and Family Studies

Committee Member 3

Alen Hajnal

Committee Member 3 Department


Committee Member 4

Tammy Barry

Committee Member 4 Department



The present study examined the relationships between attachment and analogical reasoning within two domains: social reasoning and physical reasoning. Verbal reasoning was assessed as a possible mediator of these relationships. This study was conducted with 67 typically-developed children between the ages of nine to 11 years of age who were recruited from The University of Southern Mississippi's student population and from schools in Hattiesburg, MS and Ocean Springs, MS. Attachment security was assessed using the Kerns Security Scale (Kerns, Klepac, & Cole, 1996), and verbal reasoning was assessed with the Weschler Intelligence Scale for Children-3rd edition (Weschler, 1991). Analogical reasoning within social and physical domains was assessed using analogous match-to-sample tasks. To assess social reasoning, the participants were required to reason about others' emotions such as happiness, sadness, fear, and anger. To assess physical reasoning, they were required to reason about physical tasks that others were engaged in, such as sports, cooking, art, and school activities.

The results revealed that verbal reasoning was significantly related to social reasoning, while the relationship between verbal reasoning and physical reasoning approached significance. Attachment was not significantly related to any of the other variables in this study.