Bridging the Attachment Transmission Gap with Maternal Mind-mindedness and Infant Temperament
Sherman, Laura Jernigan
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The goal of this study was to test (a) whether maternal mind-mindedness (MM) mediates the link between maternal attachment (from the Adult Attachment Interview) and infant attachment (in the Strange Situation), and (b) whether infant temperament moderates this model of attachment transmission. Eighty-four racially diverse, economically stressed mothers and their infants were assessed three times: newborn, 5, and 12 months. Despite robust meta-analytic findings supporting attachment concordance for mothers and infants in community samples, this sample was characterized by low attachment concordance. Maternal attachment was unrelated to maternal MM; and, maternal MM was related to infant attachment differences for ambivalent infants only. Infant irritability did not moderate the model. Possible reasons for the discordant attachment patterns and the remaining findings are discussed in relation to theory and previous research.