Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 91
  • Cited by
    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Brahm, Paulina Cortázar, Alejandra Fillol, María Paz Mingo, María Verónica Vielma, Constanza and Aránguiz, María Consuelo 2016. Maternal sensitivity and mental health: does an early childhood intervention programme have an impact?. Family Practice, Vol. 33, Issue. 3, p. 226.

    Fearon, R. M. Pasco Groh, Ashley M. Bakermans-Kranenburg, Marian J. van IJzendoorn, Marinus H. and Roisman, Glenn I. 2016. Developmental Psychopathology.

    Gunter, Barrie 2016. Does Playing Video Games Make Players More Violent?.

    Lang, Katrin Bovenschen, Ina Gabler, Sandra Zimmermann, Janin Nowacki, Katja Kliewer, Josephine and Spangler, Gottfried 2016. Foster children's attachment security in the first year after placement: A longitudinal study of predictors. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, Vol. 36, p. 269.

    Martí, Maria Bonillo, Albert Jané, Maria Claustre Fisher, Elisa M. and Duch, Helena 2016. Cumulative Risk, the Mother–Child Relationship, and Social-Emotional Competence in Latino Head Start Children. Early Education and Development, Vol. 27, Issue. 5, p. 590.

    McLear, Caitlin Trentacosta, Christopher J. and Smith-Darden, Joanne 2016. Child Self-Regulation, Parental Secure Base Scripts, and At-Risk Kindergartners’ Academic Achievement. Early Education and Development, Vol. 27, Issue. 4, p. 440.

    Shulman, Cory 2016. Research and Practice in Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health.

    Waters, Sara F. and Mendes, Wendy Berry 2016. Physiological and Relational Predictors of Mother-Infant Behavioral Coordination. Adaptive Human Behavior and Physiology,

    Yaholkoski, Amber Hurl, Kylee and Theule, Jennifer 2016. Efficacy of the Circle of Security Intervention: A Meta-Analysis. Journal of Infant, Child, and Adolescent Psychotherapy, Vol. 15, Issue. 2, p. 95.

    2016. Bindung und Risiko.

    Agostini, Francesca Monti, Fiorella Neri, Erica Salvatori, Paola and Trombini, Elena 2015. Trauma della nascita pretermine e problematiche alimentari precoci. MALTRATTAMENTO E ABUSO ALL'INFANZIA, Issue. 1, p. 55.

    Bartram, Samantha Christine Barlow, Jane Wolke, Dieter and Bartram, Samantha Christine 2015. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.

    Carter, Alice S. Marakovitz, Susan E. and Sparrow, Sara S. 2015. Developmental Psychopathology.

    Crisafi, Cettina and Ragonese, Nicoletta 2015. Trauma evolutivo e disturbo del comportamento alimentare nella prima infanzia. MALTRATTAMENTO E ABUSO ALL'INFANZIA, Issue. 1, p. 31.

    Kobak, Roger Cassidy, Jude Lyons-Ruth, Karlen and Ziv, Yair 2015. Developmental Psychopathology.

    Macfie, Jenny Brumariu, Laura E. and Lyons-Ruth, Karlen 2015. Parent–child role-confusion: A critical review of an emerging concept. Developmental Review, Vol. 36, p. 34.

    Okello, J. Nakimuli-Mpungu, E. Klasen, F. Voss, C. Musisi, S. Broekaert, E. and Derluyn, I. 2015. The impact of attachment and depression symptoms on multiple risk behaviors in post-war adolescents in northern Uganda. Journal of Affective Disorders, Vol. 180, p. 62.

    Raby, K. Lee Roisman, Glenn I. Fraley, R. Chris and Simpson, Jeffry A. 2015. The Enduring Predictive Significance of Early Maternal Sensitivity: Social and Academic Competence Through Age 32 Years. Child Development, Vol. 86, Issue. 3, p. 695.

    Raby, K. Lee Steele, Ryan D. Carlson, Elizabeth A. and Sroufe, L. Alan 2015. Continuities and changes in infant attachment patterns across two generations. Attachment & Human Development, Vol. 17, Issue. 4, p. 414.

    Ramsdal, Gro Bergvik, Svein and Wynn, Rolf 2015. Parent–child attachment, academic performance and the process of high-school dropout: a narrative review. Attachment & Human Development, Vol. 17, Issue. 5, p. 522.


Infant–mother attachment security, contextual risk, and early development: A moderational analysis

  • JAY BELSKY (a1) and R. M. PASCO FEARON (a2)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 June 2002

In light of evidence that the effects of attachment security on subsequent development may be contingent on the social context in which the child continues to develop, we examined the effect of attachment security at age 15 months, cumulative contextual risk from 1 to 36 months, and the interaction of attachment and cumulative risk to predict socioemotional and cognitive linguistic functioning at age 3 years, using data from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Study of Early Child Care. Results indicated that early attachment predicts both socioemotional development and language skills, but not cognitive functioning as indexed by a measure of school readiness, and that the effect of attachment on socioemotional development and expressive language varied as a function of social-contextual risk. Insecure–avoidant infants proved most vulnerable to contextual risk, not children classified as secure or insecure more generally, although in one instance security did prove protective with respect to the adverse effects of cumulative contextual risk. Findings are discussed in terms of risk and resilience and in light of the probabilistic nature of the relation between early attachment and later development.

Corresponding author
Jay Belsky, Institute for the Study of Children, Families and Social Issues, Birkbeck University of London, 7 Bedford Square, London WC1B 3RA, UK; E-mail:
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Development and Psychopathology
  • ISSN: 0954-5794
  • EISSN: 1469-2198
  • URL: /core/journals/development-and-psychopathology
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *