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Child Dev. 1991 Oct;62(5):891-905.

Maternal representations of attachment during pregnancy predict the organization of infant-mother attachment at one year of age.

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Anna Freud Center, Hampstead, London, U.K.


While strong retrospective and concurrent associations between maternal and infant patterns of attachment have been noted, this is one of the first reports of a prospective investigation of such associations. The Adult Attachment Interview was administered to 100 mothers expecting their first child, and, at 1-year follow-up, 96 of these were seen with their infants at 12 months in the Strange Situation. Maternal representations of attachment (autonomous vs. dismissing or preoccupied) predicted subsequent infant-mother attachment patterns (secure vs. insecure) 75% of the time. These observed concordances, as well as the discordances, are discussed in terms of the uniquely powerful contribution the Adult Attachment Interview makes to the study of representational and intergenerational influences on the development of the infant-mother attachment.

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