Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science




This study explored the maternal contribution to attachment relationships for both adult

and adolescent mothers. Past research has focused on the relationship between maternal sensitivity - responding appropriately and promptly to infant signals - and attachment security. However, recent research has identified the need for a multi-dimensional assessment o f the maternal contribution to attachment relationships (Raval et al., 2001). Domains of conceptually related aspects of maternal interactive behaviour were created as part o f this study. This multi-dimensional description was then applied to describe the behaviour of 49 adult and 49 adolescent mothers during interactions with their infants. Results indicated differences in the association between maternal interactive behaviour and the quality o f the attachment relationship for adult and adolescent mothers. Additionally, these analyses revealed that distinct domains of maternal interaction had differing degrees o f association with the attachment relationship. Implications for clinical interventions and suggestions for future research are also discussed



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