Abstract: This chapter addresses behavioral and representational facets of the mother–child emotional tie at two developmental periods: towards the end of infancy and towards school entry. Using data from a longitudinal study with low-risk mothers and infants (Scher, 1991), we examined the predictive validity of mothers' sensitivity when playing with their 12-month-olds to parenting representations at age six years. The Attachment Story Completion Task (Bretherton, Ridgeway, & Cassidy, 1990) was administered to 42 children; their mothers (n = 26) participated in the Parent Development Interview (Aber et al., 1985). It was found that high maternal sensitivity during infancy was a precursor of mother's representations of her parenting competency, provision of secure base, and low levels of negative emotionality. Higher levels of negative emotionality, described by the mothers, correlated concurrently with more negative representations of the maternal figure in the narratives of the children. Mothers' sensitivity to the child's feelings correlated with more frequent representations of the mother as a protective figure in the children's stories. The links over time and across domains and perspectives are considered within the frameworks of attachment theory and psychoanalytic approaches, The study of parenting is a fast-growing field that has yielded a comprehensive body of knowledge, with diverse perspectives (see Bornstein, 2002). Yet many questions remain unanswered on the interplay between the behavioral and representational levels in parent–child relationships.
|Title of host publication||Parenting Representations|
|Subtitle of host publication||Theory, Research, and Clinical Implications|
|Place of Publication||New York|
|Publisher||Cambridge Scholars Press|
|Number of pages||28|
|ISBN (Print)||0521828872, 9780521828871|
|State||Published - 1 Jan 2006|
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© Ofra Mayseless 2006 and Cambridge University Press 2009.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychology (all)