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Child Dev. 1995 Feb;66(1):69-79.

Associations among adult attachment representations, maternal sensitivity, and infant-mother attachment in a sample of adolescent mothers.

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New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center, New York 10021, USA.


Associations among adolescent attachment organization, maternal sensitivity, and infant attachment organization were examined prospectively in 74 teenaged mother-infant dyads. Pregnant teenagers' attachment organizations predicted both sensitivity and infant-mother attachments. Mothers classified autonomous (F) in the prenatal period showed higher levels of sensitivity at both 3 and 9 months than mothers classified dismissing (Ds), preoccupied (E), or unresolved (U). Correspondence between maternal attachment (F vs. Ds/E/U) and infant attachment (secure [B] vs. avoidant [A]/resistant [C]/disorganized [D]) was observed in 58 of 74 (78%) dyads. Exact 4-group (Ds/E/F/U and A/B/C/D) agreement was observed in 50 of 74 (68%) families. In contrast, associations between maternal sensitivity and infant attachment were not significant, leading to questions about the processes that link attachment representations, maternal behavior, and infant attachment in adolescent mothers.

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