Parent relationship quality and infant-mother attachment.Attach Hum Dev. 2009 May; 11(3):285-306.AH
This project examined interrelations between father-mother conflict, father support of mother, maternal behavior, and infant-mother attachment within a sample of 79 African American families living in a highly stressed urban community. Father support of mother was not related to maternal parenting behavior or infant attachment. Conflicted mother-father relationships were associated with problematic maternal behavior, low maternal sensitivity, infant attachment insecurity, and infant attachment disorganization. The associations between parental conflict and both infant attachment disorganization and insecurity were buffered in families in which fathers co-resided with the mother. Consistent with theory and prior research, links were also observed between maternal sensitive-responsiveness and infant attachment security and between problematic maternal parenting and infant attachment disorganization. However, maternal parenting behavior did not mediate the relation between parental conflict and infant attachment. Results are discussed with respect to whether and under what circumstances child exposure to parent conflict can have a direct effect on infant-mother attachment that is not mediated through dyadic infant-mother interaction.