Changes in negative emotionality in infancy: The role of mother's attachment concerns

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In a longitudinal study the contribution of mothers' attachment concerns to the infant negative emotionality was examined. Ninety-three mothers described their child's temperament at 3 and 9 months. The results revealed that increased negative emotionality at 9 months was related not only to high levels of fussiness at 3 months but also to mothers' concerns and worries about their personal relationships. It was found that infants of mothers who tended to be avoidant in their close adult relationships showed increased levels of negative emotionality during the latter part of the first year. Further, infants of mothers who appeared secure (not avoidant) in their adult close relationships showed decreased levels of negative emotionality. The findings of the present study give some support to a directional link between caregivers' characteristics and the regulation of negative emotionality in infancy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-321
Number of pages11
JournalBritish Journal of Developmental Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Developmental Neuroscience


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