This study investigated in a sample of infants and mothers that represented the full SES spectrum in Israel (n=704) the hypothesis that low quality non-maternal care imposes ecological constraints on infant-mother attachment formation by moderating the relations between maternal sensitivity and infant attachment security. Infant attachment to mother was assessed with the Strange Situation Procedure (SSP) [Patterns of Attachment: A Psychological Study of the Strange Situation, Erlbaum, Hillsdale, NJ, 1978] and maternal sensitivity was assessed with the Emotional Availability Scales [The Emotional Availability Scales, Unpublished manuscript, University of Colorado, Health Science Center, Denver, 1993]. Results show that the expected links between maternal sensitivity and infant attachment security were found only for infants in individual care but not for infants in daycare centers, which were of low quality. The findings suggest that extensive exposure to difficult environments of non-maternal care constrains infants' relations with their mothers by moderating the associations between maternal sensitive caregiving and infants' attachment security.
- Ecological constraints
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology