The Effects of an Intervention on Maternal Sensitivity and Infant Attachment Quality in a High-Risk Population

Velez, Jessica
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University of Delaware
Children who face early childhood adversity, such as abuse and neglect, are vulnerable to problematic long-term outcomes. Experiencing these types of insensitive and frightening parenting could lead children to develop insecure or disorganized attachments to their caregivers. Attachment insecurity and disorganization in children are predictive of many long-term consequences such as difficulties with peers, behavior problems, and dissociative symptoms (Carlson, 1998; Fearon et al., 2010; Groh, Roisman, Van IJzendoorn, Bakersman-Kranenburg, & Fearon, 2012). The Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-up (ABC) intervention was designed to promote the development of secure and organized attachments by helping parents be more nurturing and sensitive to their child’s cues. In this study, we examined whether the ABC intervention would affect maternal sensitivity and infant attachment quality in a sample of 24 high-risk mother-infant dyads. Assessments of maternal sensitivity were collected pre- and post- intervention. Assessments of infant attachment quality were collected post-intervention. Maternal sensitivity improved from pre- to postintervention. Group differences for infant attachment quality were not significant.
Research Subject Categories::SOCIAL SCIENCES::Social sciences::Psychology , childhood adversity