Presentation Type

Poster

Abstract

Attachment theory, a result of the collaboration of John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth, is an essential concept in developmental psychology, wherein there are four types of infant attachment (secure, insecure-resistant, insecure-avoidant, and insecure-disorganized) that have been found to relate to relationships later in life (Bretherton, 1992). In the past, maternal sensitivity, or the consistency with which a caregiver responds to infant needs, was thought to be the strongest predictor of secure attachment (Meins, Fernyhough, Fradley, & Tuckey, 2001). However, researcher Elizabeth Meins recently reframed the concept of maternal sensitivity, revealing another predictor, Maternal-Mind Mindedness (MMM). MMM is a concept based upon a mother's interpretation of her infant's behavior and whether she "treat[s] her infant as an individual with a mind rather than merely as a creature with needs that must be satisfied" (Meins et. al, 2001, p. 638). The most predictive measure of MMM are mind related comments, or comments that frame an infant's behavior in a way that emphasizes the child's mind (Meins et. al, 2001). The coding system for maternal mind-mindedness consists of seven comment categories and a measure of the appropriateness of comments. Later researchers added a measure of comment valence, or whether the comment was positive, negative, or neutral (Demers, Bernier, Tarabulsy, & Provost, 2010). While using this coding for research, several difficulties with the current system were identified. Through discussion amongst coders and analysis of problem areas in coded transcripts, several revisions to increase clarity and decrease confusion have been suggested. The purpose of this presentation is to stimulate discussion regarding possible revisions to the current system. Proposed revisions are (1) a stricter definition of maternal utterance, and (2) combinations of categories for clarity. These revisions will ensure the measurement of MMM will be consistent across studies.

Category

Social Sciences

Share

COinS
 
Apr 11th, 3:00 PM Apr 11th, 4:00 PM

Revisions to the Coding of Maternal Mind Mindedness

Attachment theory, a result of the collaboration of John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth, is an essential concept in developmental psychology, wherein there are four types of infant attachment (secure, insecure-resistant, insecure-avoidant, and insecure-disorganized) that have been found to relate to relationships later in life (Bretherton, 1992). In the past, maternal sensitivity, or the consistency with which a caregiver responds to infant needs, was thought to be the strongest predictor of secure attachment (Meins, Fernyhough, Fradley, & Tuckey, 2001). However, researcher Elizabeth Meins recently reframed the concept of maternal sensitivity, revealing another predictor, Maternal-Mind Mindedness (MMM). MMM is a concept based upon a mother's interpretation of her infant's behavior and whether she "treat[s] her infant as an individual with a mind rather than merely as a creature with needs that must be satisfied" (Meins et. al, 2001, p. 638). The most predictive measure of MMM are mind related comments, or comments that frame an infant's behavior in a way that emphasizes the child's mind (Meins et. al, 2001). The coding system for maternal mind-mindedness consists of seven comment categories and a measure of the appropriateness of comments. Later researchers added a measure of comment valence, or whether the comment was positive, negative, or neutral (Demers, Bernier, Tarabulsy, & Provost, 2010). While using this coding for research, several difficulties with the current system were identified. Through discussion amongst coders and analysis of problem areas in coded transcripts, several revisions to increase clarity and decrease confusion have been suggested. The purpose of this presentation is to stimulate discussion regarding possible revisions to the current system. Proposed revisions are (1) a stricter definition of maternal utterance, and (2) combinations of categories for clarity. These revisions will ensure the measurement of MMM will be consistent across studies.