Infant Attachment and Maternal Sensitivity in the Arab Minority in Israel

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Abstract

This study is the first to examine infant–mother attachment in the Arab culture. Eighty-five Arab 1-year-old infants from Israel were observed in the strange situation, and maternal sensitivity was assessed from home observations. Supporting attachment theory's normativity hypothesis, no differences were found between the Arab-Israeli attachment distribution and Jewish-Israeli, Western, and non-Western distributions when examined at the two-way secure versus insecure level, although a few differences emerged when examined at the four-way ABCD level. Supporting the sensitivity hypothesis, mothers of secure infants were more sensitive than those of insecure infants but only in the case of Christian (and not Muslim) mothers. The findings provide support to attachment theory's generalizability but raise questions regarding the assessment of maternal sensitivity cross-culturally.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1338-1349
Number of pages12
JournalChild Development
Volume88
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 The Authors. Child Development © 2016 Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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