Mothers of anxious/ambivalent infants: Maternal characteristics and child-care context

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A general model of the determinants of parenting was employed to explore the antecedents of the ambivalent attachment pattern in Israel. Specifically, three classes of variables were identified: maternal, infant, and child-care context. Participants were 98 mothers and their infants. This research was part of a longitudinal study on sleep patterns. Mothers filled out questionnaires and were observed with their infants in the Ainsworth Strange Situation laboratory procedure. Mothers of ambivalent infants showed lower education level, higher separation anxiety, and higher parenting stress than mothers of secure infants. Infants' perceived difficult temperament did not discriminate between the two groups. Longer hours spent at work and placement in group day-care were both associated with ambivalent attachment. The findings are discussed in light of the importance of considering distal factors such as maternal attitudes and general caregiving strategy in clarifying the antecedents of attachment patterns.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1629-1639
Number of pages11
JournalChild Development
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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