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Clin Psychol Rev. 2000 Nov;20(8):1019-40.

Attachment security: a meta-analysis of maternal mental health correlates.

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Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


This meta-analysis addresses the association between attachment security and each of three maternal mental health correlates. The meta-analysis is based on 35 studies, 39 samples, and 2,064 mother-child pairs. Social-marital support (r = .14; based on 16 studies involving 17 samples and 902 dyads), stress (r = .19; 13 studies, 14 samples, and 768 dyads), and depression (r = .18; 15 studies, 19 samples, and 953 dyads) each proved significantly related to attachment security. All constructs showed substantial variance in effect size. Ecological factors and approach to measuring support may explain the heterogeneity of effect sizes within the social-marital support literature. Effect sizes for stress varied according to the time between assessment of stress and assessment of attachment security. Among studies of depression, clinical samples yielded significantly larger effect sizes than community samples. We discuss these results in terms of measurement issues (specifically, overreliance on self-report inventories) and in terms of the need to study the correlates of change in attachment security, rather than just the correlates of attachment security per se.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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