Attachment concerns of mothers as manifested in parental, spousal, and friendship relationships

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The present study examined the relation between attachment concerns of mothers and three of their close relationships: with their husband, best woman friend, and infant. Forty-five mothers completed an Attachment Concerns Questionnaire based on the Hazan and Shaver attachment measure, and the Sharabany Intimacy scale regarding their relationships with their husband and with their same-sex best friend; they were also observed with their infants (aged 14 to 22 months) in the Ainsworth Strange Situation procedure. Mothers' attachment concerns were significantly correlated both to their infants' attachment classifications and to reunion scores in the Strange Situation procedure (e.g., concern with closeness was positively correlated with avoidance; fear of abandonment was positively correlated with avoidance and resistance). Intimacy with husband and best woman friend were also correlated with mothers' attachment concerns (e.g., concern with closeness was negatively correlated with intimacy with the husband and fear of abandonment was negatively correlated with intimacy with the best friend). The findings are discussed in terms of the concept of an internal working model of attachment, and, in light of the similarity and the modular hypotheses regarding the nature of relationships and concordance among relationships.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)255-269
Number of pages15
JournalPersonal Relationships
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Anthropology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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