Mothers' Attachment with Spouse and Parenting in the First Year

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This study examines the links between mother-spouse attachment dimensions and early parenting experiences. The sample consisted of 118 mothers who take part in a longitudinal investigation of child development. When their infants were 9 months old, mothers completed an attachment questionnaire and reported on maternal separation anxiety and on their attitudes toward developmental and socialization goals which they set for their child. It was found that the assignment of limited developmental goals was characteristic of mothers who fear being abandoned by their spouse. Contrary to expectations, mothers who fear close and dependent relationships reported higher levels of maternal separation anxiety and tended to stay home and care for their baby. The results are discussed in terms of a differential-modular versus a similarity model of relationships.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)601-609
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Social and Personal Relationships
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Communication
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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