Infant negative affect and maternal interactive behavior during the still-face procedure: the moderating role of adult attachment states of mind

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Susan D. Calkins, Professor (Creator)
Esther M. Leerkes, Professor (Creator)
Andrew "Andy" Supple, Associate Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: The current study examined associations between attachment state of mind measured prenatally (N = 259) and maternal behavior in the reunion episode of the still-face procedure when infants were six months of age both as a main effect and in conjunction with infant negative affect. Using a dimensional approach to adult attachment measurement, dismissing and preoccupied states of mind were negatively associated with maternal sensitivity, and each correlated with distinct parenting behaviors. Positive associations were found between dismissing states of mind and maternal monitoring and preoccupied states of mind and maternal withdraw. Maternal preoccupation moderated associations between infant negative affect and maternal intrusive, withdrawn, and monitoring behaviors, supporting the notion that maternal attachment influences parenting behavior via a modulatory process in which infant distress cues are selectively filtered and responded to. Analyses using a traditional AAI scale and classification approach also provided evidence for distinct parenting behavior correlates of insecure adult attachment representations. The importance of measuring global and stylistic differences in maternal behavior in contexts which allow for the activation of the entire range of infant affective states is discussed.

Additional Information

Attachment & Human Development, 16(2), 149-173
Language: English
Date: 2014
Adult Attachment Interview, dismissing, preoccupied, infant affect, still-face procedure

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