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Child Dev. 2005 Sep-Oct;76(5):1044-54.

The mother-infant relationship and infant attachment in a South African peri-urban settlement.

Author information

1
Child Guidance Clinic, University of Cape Town, Chapel Road, Rosebank, Cape Town 7700, South Africa. mtomlins@protem.uct.ac.za

Abstract

A sample of 147 mother-infant dyads was recruited from a peri-urban settlement outside Cape Town and seen at 2- and 18-months postpartum. At 18 months, 61.9% of the infants were rated as securely attached (B); 4.1% as avoidant (A); 8.2% as resistant (C); and 25.8% disorganized (D). Postpartum depression at 2 months, and indices of poor parenting at both 2 and 18 months, were associated with insecure infant attachment. The critical 2-month predictor variables for insecure infant attachment were maternal intrusiveness and maternal remoteness, and early maternal depression. When concurrent maternal sensitivity was considered, the quality of the early mother-infant relationship remained important, but maternal depression was no longer predictive. Cross-cultural differences and consistencies in the development of attachment are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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