Send to

Choose Destination
J Genet Psychol. 2014 Sep-Dec;175(5-6):494-510. doi: 10.1080/00221325.2014.964170. Epub 2014 Nov 20.

Mother-infant joint attention and sharing: relations to disorganized attachment and maternal disrupted communication.

Author information

a Harvard Medical School.


The normative development of infant shared attention has been studied extensively, but few studies have examined the impact of disorganized attachment and disturbed maternal caregiving on mother-infant shared attention. The authors examined both maternal initiations of joint attention and infants' responses to those initiations during the reunion episodes of the Strange Situation Procedure at 12 and 18 months of infant age. The mothers' initiations of joint attention and three forms of infant response, including shunning, simple joint attention, and sharing attention, were examined in relation to infant disorganized attachment and maternal disrupted communication. Mothers who were disrupted in communication with their infants at 18 months initiated fewer bids for joint attention at 12 months, and, at 18 months, mothers of infants classified disorganized initiated fewer bids. However, the infant' responses were unrelated to either the infant' or the mother' disturbed attachment. At both ages, disorganized infants and infants of disrupted mothers were as likely to respond to maternal bids as were their lower risk counterparts. Our results suggest that a disposition to share experiences with others is robust in infancy, even among infants with adverse attachment experiences, but this infant disposition may depend on adult initiation of bids to be realized.


attachment; infant development; joint attention; maternal disrupted communication; sharing attention

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center