Atypical maternal behavior, maternal representations, and infant disorganized attachment.Dev Psychopathol. 2003 Spring; 15(2):239-57.DP
The data for 197 mother-infant pairs from two longitudinal studies were analyzed to assess relations between maternal attachment representations; atypical maternal behavior, coded with a new tool. Atypical Maternal Behavior Instrument for Assessment and Classification (AMBIANCE), and infant attachment. Both maternal and infant attachment were systematically related to atypical maternal behavior: mothers who were Unresolved on the Adult Attachment Interview and those whose infants were disorganized in the Strange Situation Procedure engaged in more atypical behaviors than those who were not Unresolved and whose infants showed organized patterns of attachment, respectively. Regression analyses indicated that when tested as a mediator, atypical maternal behavior as measured on the AMBIANCE did not reduce the association between maternal Unresolved status and infant disorganized attachment. This may, in part, reflect the fact that our low-risk sample did not include enough cases in the risk categories. These data provide preliminary empirical validation for the AMBIANCE and strengthen the evidence for links between atypical maternal behavior and disorganized attachment but indicate that in addition to maternal attachment representations, other factors must contribute to atypical maternal behavior.