Self-reported romantic attachment style predicts everyday maternal caregiving behavior at home

Selcuk E., Gunaydin G., Sumer N., Harma M., Salman S., Hazan C., ...More

JOURNAL OF RESEARCH IN PERSONALITY, vol.44, no.4, pp.544-549, 2010 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 44 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2010
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.jrp.2010.05.007
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.544-549
  • Keywords: Adult attachment style, Maternal caregiving, Q-sort, Attachment anxiety, Attachment avoidance, Home observation, ADULT ATTACHMENT, CHILDHOOD, SECURITY, INFANCY, MODELS
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Although numerous studies examined how individual differences in mothers' discourse about their early attachment experiences are associated with their caregiving behaviors toward their children, research examining how self-reported romantic attachment style is associated with maternal caregiving has been very limited. To help fill this gap, we examined whether self-reported romantic attachment style is associated with maternal caregiving behaviors observed in home settings. Mother-child interactions were observed for three hours and the mothers completed measures of attachment style and child temperament. Results indicated that attachment-related avoidance, but not attachment-related anxiety, was negatively associated with global maternal sensitivity, after controlling for the child's temperament. Consistent with the propositions of attachment theory, both attachment-related avoidance and anxiety were associated with specific caregiving themes. (C) 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.