Changes in maternal sensitivity across the first three years: are mothers from different attachment dyads differentially influenced by depressive symptomatology?Attach Hum Dev. 2008 Sep; 10(3):299-317.AH
Hierarchical linear modeling was used to describe longitudinal relations between maternal sensitivity and depressive symptomatology for mothers of children with differing attachment classifications at 36 months of child age using data from the NICHD Study of Early Child Care. Attachment during toddlerhood was assessed using a modified Strange Situation Paradigm developed by the MacArthur Working Group on Attachment. On average, maternal sensitivity increased longitudinally from 6 to 36 months for groups with children classified as secure or resistant, but not for groups classified as avoidant or disorganized. Higher maternal depressive symptoms were associated with lower levels of sensitivity for all mothers, although this effect was significantly less severe for mothers of securely attached children. In addition, higher maternal depressive symptoms were associated with decreases in sensitivity from 6 to 36 months for mothers of children who at 36 months showed disorganized attachments combined with underlying patterns of avoidant or resistant behavior.