Psychology Publications

Title

Change in Atypical Maternal Behavior Predicts Change in Attachment Disorganization From 12 to 24 Months in a High-Risk Sample

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

5-2007

Journal

Child Development

Volume

78

Issue

3

First Page

955

Last Page

971

Abstract

This longitudinal study examined links between disorganization and atypical maternal behavior at 12 and 24 months in 71 adolescent mother–child dyads. Organized attachment and maternal not disrupted behavior were more stable than disorganization and disrupted behavior, respectively. At both ages, disorganization and maternal disrupted behavior were significantly correlated. Change in atypical maternal behavior predicted change in disorganization across time. The results provide substantial support for extant theories linking anomalous maternal behavior to the development of disorganized attachment. The Interesting-but-Scary paradigm, introduced in this study, promises to be a useful tool for assessing attachment and maternal behavior in toddlerhood.

Notes

Published in: Child Development, Volume 78 Issue 3, Pages 955 - 971. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2007.01043.x