Hostname: page-component-6b989bf9dc-94dtm Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-04-13T23:06:03.961Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

Understanding the transmission of attachment using variable- and relationship-centered approaches

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  25 April 2007

HEIDI N. BAILEY
Affiliation:
University of Guelph
GREG MORAN
Affiliation:
University of Western Ontario
DAVID R. PEDERSON
Affiliation:
University of Western Ontario
SANDI BENTO
Affiliation:
University of Western Ontario

Abstract

The interrelations of maternal attachment representations, mother–infant interaction in the home, and attachment relationships were studied in 99 adolescent mothers and their 12-month-old infants. A q-factor analysis was used to identify emergent profiles of mother and infant interaction. Traditional multivariate statistical analyses were complemented by a relationship-based approach utilizing latent class analysis. The results confirmed many theoretical predictions linking interaction with autonomous maternal representations and secure attachment, but failed to support a mediating role for maternal sensitivity. Strong associations were found between mothers displaying nonsensitive and disengaged interaction profiles, infants who did not interact harmoniously with the mother and preferred interaction with the visitor, unresolved maternal representations, and disorganized attachment relationships. Moreover, maternal nonsensitive and disengaged interaction in the home mediated the association between unresolved representations and disorganization. The results of the latent class analysis were consistent with these findings and revealed additional, empirically derived associations between attachment classifications and patterns of interactive behavior, some of which prompt a reconsideration of our current understanding of attachment transmission in at-risk populations.This research was supported by a predoctoral fellowship to the first author from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and by research grants to the second and third authors from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, the Ontario Mental Health Foundation, and Health Canada.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© 2007 Cambridge University Press

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

REFERENCES

Abrams, K. Y. (2001). Pathways to disorganization: A study concerning varying types of parental frightened and frightening behaviors as related to infant disorganized attachment. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of California, Berkeley.
Ainsworth, M. D. S., Bell, S. M., & Stayton, D. J. (1971). Individual differences in strange situation behaviour of one-year-olds. In H. R. Schaffer (Ed.), The origins of human social relationships (pp. 1757). London: Academic Press.
Ainsworth, M. D. S., Blehar, M. C., Waters, E., & Wall, S. (1978). Patterns of attachment: A psychological study of the Strange Situation. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
Atkinson, L., Goldberg, S., Raval, V., Pederson, D. R., Benoit, D., Moran, G., et al. (2005). On the relation between maternal state of mind and sensitivity in the prediction of infant attachment security. Developmental Psychology, 41, 4253.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Atkinson, L., Niccols, A., Paglia, A., Coolbear, J., Parker, K. C. H., Poulton, L., et al. (2000). A meta-analysis of time between maternal sensitivity and attachment assessments: Implications for internal working models of infancy/toddlerhood. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 17, 791810.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bailey, H. N., Waters, C. A., Pederson, D. R., & Moran, G. (1999). Ainsworth revisited: An empirical analysis of interactive behaviour in the home. Attachment and Human Development, 1, 199216.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Barnett, D., Butler, C. M., & Vondra, J. I. (1999). Atypical patterns of early attachment: Discussion and future directions. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 64, 172192.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Baron, R., & Kenny, D. (1986). The moderator-mediator variable distinction in the social psychological research: Conceptual, strategic, and statistical considerations. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 51, 11731182.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bates, M. E. (2000). Integrating person-centered and variable-centered approaches in the study of developmental courses and transitions in alcohol use: Introduction to the special section. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 24, 878881.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bergman, L. R. (2002). Studying processes: Some methodological considerations. In L. Pulkkinen & A. Caspi (Eds.), Paths to successful development: Personality in the life course (pp. 177199). New York: Cambridge University Press.
Bergman, L. R., & Magnusson, D. (1997). A person-oriented approach in research on developmental psychopathology. Development and Psychopathology, 9, 291319.Google Scholar
Bowlby, J. (1969/1982). Attachment and loss: Vol. 1. Attachment. New York: Basic Books.
Briere, J. (2002). Treating adult survivors of severe childhood abuse and neglect. Further development of an integrative model. In J. E. Myers & L. Berliner (Eds.), The APSAC handbook on child maltreatment (pp. 175203). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Chao, R. (2001). Integrating culture and attachment. American Psychologist, 56, 822823.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Claussen, A. H., Mundy, P. C., Mallik, S. A., & Willoughby, J. C. (2002). Joint attention and disorganized attachment status in infants at risk. Development and Psychopathology, 14, 279291.Google Scholar
Culp, R. E., Culp, A. M., Osofsky, J. D., & Osofsky, H. (1991). Adolescent and older mothers' interaction patterns with their six-month-old infants. Journal of Adolescence, 14, 195200.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
DeOliveira, C. A., Bailey, H. N., Moran, G., & Pederson, D. R. (2004). Emotion socialization as a framework for understanding the development of disorganized attachment. Social Development, 13, 437467.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
De Wolff, M. S., & van IJzendoorn, M. H. (1997). Sensitivity and attachment: A meta-analysis on parental antecedents of infant attachment. Child Development, 68, 571591.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Field, T., Healy, B., Goldstein, S., & Guthertz, M. (1990). Behavior-state matching and synchrony in mother–infant interactions of nondepressed versus depressed dyads. Developmental Psychology, 26, 714.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Froming, W. J., Moser, R. P., Mychack, P., & Nasby, W. (1995). A control theory approach to social development. In N. Eisenberg (Ed.), Social development: Vol. 15. Review of personality and social psychology (pp. 261288). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
George, C., Kaplan, N., & Main, M. (1985). The Berkeley Adult Attachment Interview. Unpublished manuscript, University of California, Berkeley, Department of Psychology.
George, C., & Solomon, J. (1999). Attachment and caregiving: The caregiving behavioral system. In J. Cassidy & P. R. Shaver (Eds.), Handbook of attachment: Theory, research, and clinical applications (pp. 649670). New York: Guilford Press.
Goldberg, S., Benoit, D., Blokland, K., & Madigan, S. (2003). Atypical maternal behavior, maternal representations, and infant disorganized attachment. Development and Psychopathology, 15, 239257.Google Scholar
Goldsmith, H. H., & Alansky, J. A. (1987). Maternal and infant temperamental predictors of attachment: A meta-analytic review. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 55, 805816.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Grossmann, K., Fremmer-Bombik, E., Rudolph, J., & Grossmann, K. E. (1988). Maternal attachment representations as related to patterns of infant–mother attachment and maternal care during the first year. In R. A. Hinde & J. Stevenson-Hinde (Eds.), Relations between relationships within families (pp. 241260). Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Hart, D., Atkins, R., & Fegley, S. (2003). Personality and development in childhood: A person-centred approach. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 68.Google Scholar
Hertsgaard, L., Gunnar, M., Erickson, M. F., & Nachmias, M. (1995). Adrenocortical responses to the Strange Situation in infants with disorganized/disoriented attachment relationships. Child Development, 66, 11001106.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hesse, E. (1996). Discourse, memory, and the Adult Attachment Interview: A note with emphasis on the emerging Cannot Classify category. Infant Mental Health Journal, 17, 411.3.0.CO;2-S>CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hildyard, K. L., & Wolfe, D. A. (2002). Child neglect: Developmental issues and outcomes. Child Abuse and Neglect, 26, 679695.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hsu, H. C., & Fogel, A. (2003). Stability and transitions in mother–infant face-to-face communication during the first 6 months: A microhistorical approach. Developmental Psychology, 39, 10611082.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Jaffee, S., Caspi, A., Moffitt, T. E., Belsky, J., & Silva, P. (2001). Why are children born to teen mothers at risk for adverse outcomes in young adulthood? Results of a 20-year longitudinal study. Development and Psychopathology, 13, 377397.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Langeheine, R., Pannekoek, J., & van de Pol, F. (1996). Bootstrapping goodness-of-fit measures in categorical data analysis. Sociological Methods and Research, 24, 492516.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lyons-Ruth, K., Bronfman, E., & Atwood, G. (1999). A relational diathesis model of hostile-helpless states of mind: Expressions in mother–infant interaction. In C. George & J. Solomon (Eds.), Attachment disorganization (pp. 3370). New York: Guilford Press.
Lyons-Ruth, K., Bronfman, E., & Parsons, E. (1999). Maternal disrupted affective communication, maternal frightened or frightening behavior, and disorganized infant attachment patterns. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 64(3, Serial No. 258).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lyons-Ruth, K., & Jacobvitz, D. (1999). Attachment disorganization: Unresolved loss, relational violence, and lapses in behavioral and attentional strategies. In J. Cassidy & P. R. Shaver (Eds.), Handbook of attachment: Theory, research, and clinical applications (pp. 520554). New York: Guilford Press.
Lyons-Ruth, K., Yellin, C., Melnick, S., & Atwood, G. (2003). Childhood experiences of trauma and loss have different relations to maternal unresolved and Hostile-Helpless states of mind on the AAI. Attachment and Human Development, 5, 330352.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lyons-Ruth, K., Yellin, C., Melnick, S., & Atwood, G. (2005). Expanding the concept of unresolved mental states: Hostile–Helpless states of mind on the Adult Attachment Interview are associated with disrupted mother–infant communication and infant disorganization. Development and Psychopathology, 17, 123.Google Scholar
MacDonald, P. L., & Gardner, R. C. (2000). Type I error rate comparisons of post hoc procedures for I * J chi-square tables. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 60, 735754.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Madigan, S., Moran, G., & Pederson, D. R. (2006). Unresolved states of mind, disorganized attachment relationships, and disrupted mother–infant interactions of adolescent mothers and their infants. Developmental Psychology, 42, 293304.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Main, M., & Goldwyn, R. (1998). Adult Attachment Classification System. Unpublished manuscript, University of California, Berkeley.
Main, M., & Hesse, E. (1990). Parents' unresolved traumatic experiences are related to infant disorganized attachment status: Is frightened and/or frightening parental behavior the linking mechanism? In M. T. Greenberg, D. Cicchetti, & E. M. Cummings (Eds.), Attachment in the preschool years: Theory, research, and intervention (pp. 161182). Chicago: University of Chicago.
Main, M., & Solomon, J. (1990). Procedures for identifying infants as disorganized/disoriented during the Ainsworth strange situation. In M. T. Greenberg, D. Cicchetti, & E. M. Cummings (Eds.), Attachment in the preschool years: Theory, research, and intervention (pp. 121160). Chicago: University of Chicago.
Mooney, C. Z., & Duval, R. D. (1993). Bootstrapping: A nonparametric approach to statistical inference. In Sage university papers series: Quantitative applications in the social sciences (No. 95). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.CrossRef
Moran, G., & Pederson, D. R. (1999). From maternal perceptions to the first relationship by way of maternal sensitivity: A reconceptualization of the developmental model. In G. M. Tarabulsy, S. Larose, D. R. Pederson, & G. Moran (Eds.), Attachment and development I: Infancy and the pre-school years. Montreal: Les Presses de l'Universite de Quebec.
Moran, G., Pederson, D., & Krupka, A. (2005). Maternal unresolved attachment status impedes the effectiveness of interventions with adolescent mothers. Infant Mental Health Journal, 26, 231249.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Oldershaw, L., Walters, G. C., & Hall, D. K. (1989). A behavioral approach to the classification of different types of physically abusive mothers. Merrill–Palmer Quarterly, 35, 255279.Google Scholar
Paquet, B. (2001). Low income cutoffs from 1992 to 2001 and low income measures from 1991 to 2000. Statistics Canada Research Paper, Catalogue number 75F0002MIE—No. 005
Pederson, D. R., Gleason, K. E., Moran, G., & Bento, S. (1998). Maternal attachment representations, maternal sensitivity, and the infant–mother attachment relationship. Developmental Psychology, 34, 925933.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Pederson, D. R., & Moran, G. (1995a). A categorical description of infant–mother relationships in the home and its relation to q-sort measures of infant–mother interaction. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 60, 111132.Google Scholar
Pederson, D. R., & Moran, G. (1995b). Appendix B: Maternal Behavior Q-set. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 60, 247254.Google Scholar
Pederson, D.R., & Moran, G. (1996). Expressions of the attachment relationship outside the Strange Situation. Child Development, 67, 915927.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Pederson, D. R., Moran, G., & Bento, S. (1998). Maternal Behavior Q-set (Version 3.0). Unpublished manuscript, University of Western Ontario, Department of Psychology.
Pederson, D. R., Moran, G., Sitko, C., Campbell, K., Ghesquire, K., & Acton, H. (1990). Maternal sensitivity and the security of infant–mother attachment: A Q-sort study. Child Development, 61, 19741983.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Preacher, K. J., & Leonardelli, G. J. (2001). Calculation of the Sobel Test: An interactive calculation tool for mediation tests. Retrieved July 8, 2003, from http://www.unc.edu/∼preacher/sobel/sobel.htm
Raval, V., Goldberg, S., Atkinson, L., Benoit, D., Myhal, N., Poulton, L., et al. (2001). Maternal attachment, maternal responsiveness and infant attachment. Infant Behavior and Development, 24, 281304.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Richters, J. E. (1997). The Hubble hypothesis and the developmentalist's dilemma. Development and Psychopathology, 9, 193229.Google Scholar
Rothbaum, F., Weisz, J., Pott, M., Miyake, K., & Morelli, G. (2000). Attachment and culture: Security in the United States and Japan. American Psychologist, 55, 10931104.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Rothbaum, F., Weisz, J., Pott, M., Miyake, K., & Morelli, G. (2001). Deeper into attachment and culture. American Psychologist, 56, 827829.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Rutter, M. (1997). Clinical implications of attachment concept: Retrospect and prospect. In L. Atkinson & K. Zucker (Eds.), Attachment and psychopathology (pp. 1746). New York: Guilford Press.
Schmolck, P. (1997). About Pqmethod 2.0. Retrieved from http://www.rz.unibwmuenchen.de/∼p41bsmk/qmethod
Schuengel, C., Bakermans-Kranenburg, M., & van IJzendoorn, M. (1999). Frightening, maternal behavior linking unresolved loss and disorganized infant attachment. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 67, 5463.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Solomon, J., & George, C. (1999). The effects of attachment of overnight visitation in divorced and separated families: A longitudinal follow-up. In C. George & J. Solomon (Eds.), Attachment disorganization (pp. 243264). New York: Guilford Press.
Spangler, G., & Grossmann, K. E. (1993). Biobehavioral organization in securely and insecurely attached infants. Child Development, 64, 14391450.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Stephenson, W. (1953). The study of behavior: Q-technique and its methodology. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Strayer, F. G., Verissimo, M., Vaughn, B. E., & Howes, C. (1995). A quantitative approach to the description and classification of primary social relationships. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 60(2–3, Serial No. 244).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
True, M. M., Pisani, L., & Oumar, F. (2001). Infant–mother attachment among the Dogon of Mali. Child Development, 72, 14511466.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
van Bakel, H. J. A., & Riksen-Walraven, J. M. (2002). Quality of infant–parent attachment as reflected in infant interactive behavior during instructional tasks. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 43, 387394.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
van IJzendoorn, M. H. (1995). Adult attachment representations, parental responsiveness, and infant attachment: A meta-analysis on the predictive validity of the Adult Attachment Interview. Psychological Bulletin, 117, 387403.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
van IJzendoorn, M. H., & Sagi, A. (1999). Cross-cultural patterns of attachment: Universal and contextual dimensions. In J. Cassidy & P. R. Shaver (Eds.), Handbook of attachment: Theory, research, and clinical applications (pp. 713734). New York: Guilford Press.
van IJzendoorn, M. H., & Sagi, A. (2001). Cultural blindness or selective inattention? American Psychologist, 56, 824825.Google Scholar
van IJzendoorn, M. H., Schuengel, C., & Bakermans-Kranenburg, M. J. (1999). Disorganized attachment in early childhood: Meta-analysis of precursors, concomitants, and sequelae. Development and Psychopathology, 11, 225249.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
van IJzendoorn, M. H., Vereijken, C. M. J. L., Bakermans-Kranenburg, J. J., & Riksen-Walraven, J. M. (2004). Assessing attachment security with the Attachment Q Sort: Meta-analytic evidence for the validity of the observer AQS. Child Development, 75, 11881213.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Van Leeuwen, K., De Fruyt, F., & Mervielde, I. (2004). A longitudinal study of the utility of the resilient, overcontrolled, and undercontrolled personality types as predictors of children's and adolescents' problem behavior. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 28, 210220.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Van Leeuwen, K., Mervielde, I., Braet, C., & Bosmans, G. (2004). Child personality and parental behavior as moderators of problem behavior: Variable- and person-centered approaches. Developmental Psychology, 40, 10281046.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
von Davier, M. (1997). Bootstrapping goodness-of-fit statistics for sparse categorical data: Results of a Monte Carlo study. Methods of Psychological Research, 2, 2948.Google Scholar
von Eye, A., & Bergman, L. R. (2003). Research strategies in developmental psychopathology: Dimensional identity and the person-oriented approach. Development and Psychopathology, 15, 553580.Google Scholar
Ward, M. J., & Carlson, E. A. (1995). Associations among adult attachment representations, maternal sensitivity, and infant–mother attachment in a sample of adolescent mothers. Child Development, 66, 6979.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Waters, E. (1987). Attachment behavior Q-set (Revision 3.0). Unpublished manuscript, State University of New York at Stony Brook, Department of Psychology.
Waters, E. (1995). The Attachment Q-set (Version 3.0). Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 50, 234246.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Waters, E., & Deane, K. E. (1985). Defining and assessing individual differences in attachment relationships: Q-methodology and the organization of behavior in infancy and early childhood. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 50, 4165.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Waters, E., Posada, G., Crowell, J., & Lay, K. L. (1993). Is attachment theory ready to contribute to our understanding of disruptive behavior problems? Development and Psychopathology, 5, 215224.Google Scholar