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Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1017/S0954579420001674

Disrupted caregiving behavior as a mediator of the relation between disrupted prenatal maternal representations and toddler social-emotional functioning.

02 Mar 2021-Development and Psychopathology (Cambridge University Press (CUP))-pp 1-9
Abstract: The development of maternal representations of the child during pregnancy guides a mother's thoughts, feelings, and behavior toward her child. The association between prenatal representations, particularly those that are disrupted, and toddler social-emotional functioning is not well understood. The present study examined associations between disrupted prenatal representations and toddler social-emotional functioning and to test disrupted maternal behavior as a mediator of this association. Data were drawn from 109 women from a larger prospective longitudinal study (N=120) of women and their young children. Prenatal disrupted maternal representations were assessed using the Working Model of the Child Interview disrupted coding scheme, while disrupted maternal behavior was coded 12-months postpartum from mother-infant interactions. Mother-reported toddler social-emotional functioning was assessed at ages 12 and 24 months. Disrupted prenatal representations significantly predicted poorer toddler social-emotional functioning at 24 months, controlling for functioning at 12 months. Further, disrupted maternal behavior mediated the relation between disrupted prenatal representations and toddler social-emotional problems. Screening for disrupted representations during pregnancy is needed to facilitate referrals to early intervention and decrease the likelihood of toddler social-emotional problems.

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Topics: Toddler (62%)
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Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1080/14616734.2021.1933769
Abstract: Data from a multi-method, longitudinal study involving a community sample (N = 120) of pregnant women aged 18–42 were used to examine disrupted maternal representations of the child as a mechanism ...

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Topics: Longitudinal study (50%)

1 Citations



Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1002/IMHJ.21932
Michelle Sleed1, Michelle Sleed2, Sanna Isosävi, Peter Fonagy1  +1 moreInstitutions (2)
09 Jun 2021-Tradition
Abstract: There are few clinically valid tools that can be used to assess potential parent-infant relational risk. This study describes the development and initial validation of the assessment of representational risk (ARR) coding system to be applied to the parent development interview (Slade, A., Aber, J. L., Bresgi, I., Berger, B., & Kaplan, M. (2004). The Parent Development Interview - Revised. Unpublished protocol. New York, NY: The City University of New York.) for assessing potential risk in caregivers' representations of their infant, themselves as parents, and their relationship. The ARR was developed and validated in three samples in England. A review of the literature informed the selection of 10 items. It had a three-factor structure that was used to inform subscales: hostile, helpless, and narcissistic caregiving representations. The subscales and total risk scores showed good criterion validity for discriminating between high and low risk samples and good concurrent validity with measures of parental psychopathology and parent-infant interaction. The ARR is a potentially valuable coding system for identifying risk in early attachment relationships.

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Topics: Criterion validity (59%), Concurrent validity (59%)

Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1002/IMHJ.21936
13 Jul 2021-Tradition
Abstract: INTRODUCTION How parents think and feel about their young children has implications for the parent-child relationship. We examined prospective associations between prenatal descriptions of the unborn child's personality and later parenting behavior. METHODS Pregnant women (N = 120; mean age = 26.16, SD = 5.71) were recruited in their third trimester for a longitudinal study. The sample is demographically diverse and predominantly economically disadvantaged. During prenatal interviews, women described their unborn child's personality, from which positive and negative emotion words were coded. Parenting behavior was coded 12 months postpartum (n = 105 for longitudinal analyses). RESULTS Use of positive and negative words was negatively correlated (r = -.34, p < .001). Greater use of positive words to describe the unborn child's personality was associated with higher observed sensitivity, warmth, and engagement during mother-infant interactions, whereas negative words were associated with higher interference and lower levels of sensitivity. Mothers who used anxiety- and/or anger-related words to describe their unborn child, relative to mothers who did not, demonstrated higher interference and lower warmth and sensitivity. CONCLUSION Descriptions of a child's personality before the child is born were associated with postnatal parenting behavior. Prenatal interventions that address negative thoughts and feelings regarding the child may be beneficial for promoting positive parenting postnatally.

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Topics: Personality (54%)

Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1111/CDEV.13679
01 Oct 2021-Child Development
Abstract: This study examined whether maternal disrupted communication, which is associated with disorganized infant attachment, also characterizes mothers of ambivalent infants. The study, conducted in Israel, included a Jewish sample (N = 163; 68 Girls) from diverse socioeconomic status, collected between 1991 and 1993 in an earlier study. The sample over-represented ambivalent and disorganized attachments. Attachment was assessed in the Strange Situation Procedure (SSP) at 12 months and disrupted communication was coded from the SSP using the Atypical Maternal Behavior Instrument for Assessment and Classification (AMBIANCE; Lyons-Ruth et al., 1999). Mothers of ambivalent infants showed higher disrupted communication than mothers of secure, avoidant, and disorganized infants. The findings shed further light on the correlates of ambivalent attachment and call for research regarding maternal and infant characteristics that differentiate ambivalent versus disorganized attachment.

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Topics: Strange situation (59%)
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Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1017/S0954579499002035
Abstract: During the past 10 years nearly 80 studies on disorganized attachment involving more than 6,000 infant-parent dyads have been carried out. The current series of meta-analyses have established the reliability and discriminant validity of disorganized infant attachment. Although disorganized attachment behavior is necessarily difficult to observe and often subtle, many researchers have managed to become reliable coders. Furthermore, disorganized attachment shows modest short- and long-term stability, in particular in middle class environments, and it is not just a concomitant of constitutional, temperamental, or physical child problems. The predictive validity of disorganized attachment is established in terms of problematic stress management, the elevated risk of externalizing problem behavior, and even the tendency of disorganized infants to show dissociative behavior later in life. In normal, middle class families, about 15% of the infants develop disorganized attachment behavior. In other social contexts and in clinical groups this percentage may become twice or even three times higher (e.g., in the case of maltreatment). Although the importance of disorganized attachment for developmental psychopathology is evident, the search for the mechanisms leading to disorganization has just started. Frightening parental behavior may play an important role but it does not seem to be the only causal factor involved in the emergence of disorganized attachment.

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1,436 Citations



Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1111/J.1467-8624.1993.TB02929.X
01 Apr 1993-Child Development
Abstract: This study of 62 low-income families examined the relation between maternal and infant measures assessed at 18 months infant age and child behavior problems at age 5 as rated by preschool teachers. The infancy assessments included measures of mother-infant interaction, maternal psychosocial problems, infant cognitive development, and infant attachment security, including the disorganized/disoriented classification. The strongest single predictor of deviant levels of hostile behavior toward peers in the classroom was earlier disorganized/disoriented attachment status, with 71% of hostile preschoolers classified as disorganized in their attachment relationships in infancy. Maternal psychosocial problems independently predicted hostile aggression in preschool and combined additively with infant attachment security in prediction. Results are discussed in relation to the asymmetry of forward and backward prediction that characterized the findings and in relation to the potential significance of disorganized attachment behavior as a precursor to later maladaptation.

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Topics: Object Attachment (52%), Psychosocial (51%)

556 Citations