Title

DISORGANIZED INFANTS AND MATERNAL SATISFACTION

Presenter Information

Austin Logan

Presentation Type

Poster

Abstract

The Strange Situation procedure introduces infants to a stranger and temporarily separates them from the parent. The infant’s behavior in response is used to classify the attachment relationship to the parent. The most insecure attachment classification is called Disorganized/Disoriented (D/D). Current research implies that since mothers of D/D infants are more likely to have had attachment problems with one of their own parents; they are more likely to repeat those difficulties, thereby passing them along to their children. However, research suggests that the opposite may occur, i.e., mothers might use their experience as a source of resilience in their mothering. Sixty-eight mother-infant pairs were assessed in the Strange Situation, and of these, eight were identified as having a D/D attachment. The purpose of the present research was to analyze maternal satisfaction within this subset over the course of nine years. The responses of all mothers were evaluated for qualitative, thematic differences indicative of perceived satisfaction with their role as mother and mothering in general. Items were drawn from case histories derived from an archival data set, including questionnaires, interviews, logs and videotapes collected from pre-birth until nine years. Items and interviews from mothers of D/D infants were examined for consistent themes and meaningful differences. These themes were compared with the larger group of mothers of securely attached infants. Preliminary results suggest very little difference on explicit items, yet several thematic differences emerge with regard to challenges the parent had to overcome prior to the baby’s birth.

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Apr 15th, 3:00 PM Apr 15th, 4:00 PM

DISORGANIZED INFANTS AND MATERNAL SATISFACTION

UC South Ballroom

The Strange Situation procedure introduces infants to a stranger and temporarily separates them from the parent. The infant’s behavior in response is used to classify the attachment relationship to the parent. The most insecure attachment classification is called Disorganized/Disoriented (D/D). Current research implies that since mothers of D/D infants are more likely to have had attachment problems with one of their own parents; they are more likely to repeat those difficulties, thereby passing them along to their children. However, research suggests that the opposite may occur, i.e., mothers might use their experience as a source of resilience in their mothering. Sixty-eight mother-infant pairs were assessed in the Strange Situation, and of these, eight were identified as having a D/D attachment. The purpose of the present research was to analyze maternal satisfaction within this subset over the course of nine years. The responses of all mothers were evaluated for qualitative, thematic differences indicative of perceived satisfaction with their role as mother and mothering in general. Items were drawn from case histories derived from an archival data set, including questionnaires, interviews, logs and videotapes collected from pre-birth until nine years. Items and interviews from mothers of D/D infants were examined for consistent themes and meaningful differences. These themes were compared with the larger group of mothers of securely attached infants. Preliminary results suggest very little difference on explicit items, yet several thematic differences emerge with regard to challenges the parent had to overcome prior to the baby’s birth.