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Child Dev. 2013 Jul-Aug;84(4):1373-91. doi: 10.1111/cdev.12135. Epub 2013 Jun 20.

Associations between first-time expectant women's representations of attachment and their physiological reactivity to infant cry.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Oregon, OR 97403-1227, USA. jcablow@uoregon.edu

Abstract

Associations among 53 primiparous women's Adult Attachment Interview classifications (secure-autonomous vs. insecure-dismissing) and physiological and self-reported responses to infant crying were explored. Heart rate, skin conductance levels, and respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) were recorded continuously. In response to the cry, secure-autonomous women demonstrated RSA declines, consistent with approach-oriented responses. Insecure-dismissing women displayed RSA and electrodermal increases, consistent with behavioral inhibition. Furthermore, insecure-dismissing women rated the cries as more aversive than secure-autonomous women. Nine months postpartum, secure-autonomous women, who prenatally manifested an approach-oriented response to the unfamiliar cry stimulus, were observed as more sensitive when responding to their own distressed infant, whereas women classified prenatally as insecure-dismissing were observed as less sensitive with their own infants.

© 2013 The Authors. Child Development © 2013 Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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