Title

MATERNAL SENSITIVITY AND INFANT ATTACHMENT

Presentation Type

Poster

Abstract

The current study explored the relationship between maternal sensitivity and the infant’s attachment to the mother at the same point in time. Maternal sensitivity to the infant has been found to be a major factor in the development of the relationship. Archival data from a longitudinal project were used. Analyses were conducted on a sample of 66 mothers and infants recorded in the Strange Situation Procedure (SSP). These data were originally collected to assess the infant’s emotional attachment to the mother. Data from SSPs were chosen due to the incremental increase in stress on the infant. This stress allowed the observer to note the baby’s bids for maternal attention and the level of sensitivity in the mother’s response. The observer coded the mother’s sensitivity without knowledge of the previously recorded category of infant attachment to the mother. The maternal sensitivity was rated in response to infant bids for maternal attention using a 9-point Likert scale . Maternal sensitivity was used as the dependent variable and infant attachment classification (secure, resistant, avoidant, disorganized) and security of attachment (secure, insecure) were used as factors in one-way Analyses of Variance. Ratings of maternal sensitivity by overall security of attachment revealed statistical significance (p=.015). Maternal responsiveness and sensitivity appears to be one of the most important factors contributing to attachment security. Previously, studies have measured maternal sensitivity separately from infant attachment. This study measured maternal sensitivity at the same point in time as the assessment of infant attachment.

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Apr 15th, 11:00 AM Apr 15th, 12:00 PM

MATERNAL SENSITIVITY AND INFANT ATTACHMENT

UC South Ballroom

The current study explored the relationship between maternal sensitivity and the infant’s attachment to the mother at the same point in time. Maternal sensitivity to the infant has been found to be a major factor in the development of the relationship. Archival data from a longitudinal project were used. Analyses were conducted on a sample of 66 mothers and infants recorded in the Strange Situation Procedure (SSP). These data were originally collected to assess the infant’s emotional attachment to the mother. Data from SSPs were chosen due to the incremental increase in stress on the infant. This stress allowed the observer to note the baby’s bids for maternal attention and the level of sensitivity in the mother’s response. The observer coded the mother’s sensitivity without knowledge of the previously recorded category of infant attachment to the mother. The maternal sensitivity was rated in response to infant bids for maternal attention using a 9-point Likert scale . Maternal sensitivity was used as the dependent variable and infant attachment classification (secure, resistant, avoidant, disorganized) and security of attachment (secure, insecure) were used as factors in one-way Analyses of Variance. Ratings of maternal sensitivity by overall security of attachment revealed statistical significance (p=.015). Maternal responsiveness and sensitivity appears to be one of the most important factors contributing to attachment security. Previously, studies have measured maternal sensitivity separately from infant attachment. This study measured maternal sensitivity at the same point in time as the assessment of infant attachment.