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Maternal attachment and mind-mindedness: the role of emotional specificity.
Attach Hum Dev. 2015; 17(3):302-18.AH

Abstract

We explored the relation between maternal mind-mindedness (i.e., a mother's tendency to verbally refer to her infant's mental world through use of infant-directed mental state terms) and maternal attachment. Mothers (N = 76), classified prenatally as Autonomous, Dismissing, Preoccupied, and Unresolved using the Adult Attachment Interview (AAI), simulated speaking to their 6-month-old infants in positive and negative emotion contexts. Mothers' utterances were coded for frequency of use of emotion and cognition-related mind-minded terms. Results indicated a significant negative relation between coherence of mind scores on the AAI and emotion mind-mindedness in the positive emotion context. When differences between insecure attachment categories and mind-mindedness were explored, results indicated that mothers with Preoccupied attachments were significantly more likely to use emotion-related terms than mothers with Dismissing attachments and that these differences were most pronounced in the negative emotion context. A similar pattern was found for mothers with Unresolved attachments compared to those with organized (Autonomous, Dismissing, Preoccupied) attachment classifications, however use of emotion mind-minded terms did not differ by emotional context. Future research directions highlighting the importance of exploring the unique contribution of Preoccupied, Dismissing and Unresolved attachment and emotional context in the exploration of mind-mindedness are discussed.

Authors+Show Affiliations

a Department of Psychology , Ryerson University , Toronto , ON , M5B 2K3 Canada.No affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

25692379

Citation

Milligan, Karen, et al. "Maternal Attachment and Mind-mindedness: the Role of Emotional Specificity." Attachment & Human Development, vol. 17, no. 3, 2015, pp. 302-18.
Milligan K, Khoury JE, Benoit D, et al. Maternal attachment and mind-mindedness: the role of emotional specificity. Attach Hum Dev. 2015;17(3):302-18.
Milligan, K., Khoury, J. E., Benoit, D., & Atkinson, L. (2015). Maternal attachment and mind-mindedness: the role of emotional specificity. Attachment & Human Development, 17(3), 302-18. https://doi.org/10.1080/14616734.2014.996573
Milligan K, et al. Maternal Attachment and Mind-mindedness: the Role of Emotional Specificity. Attach Hum Dev. 2015;17(3):302-18. PubMed PMID: 25692379.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Maternal attachment and mind-mindedness: the role of emotional specificity. AU - Milligan,Karen, AU - Khoury,Jennifer E, AU - Benoit,Diane, AU - Atkinson,Leslie, Y1 - 2015/02/18/ PY - 2015/2/19/entrez PY - 2015/2/19/pubmed PY - 2016/2/19/medline KW - communication KW - emotion KW - maternal attachment KW - maternal mind-mindedness KW - mother–infant interaction SP - 302 EP - 18 JF - Attachment & human development JO - Attach Hum Dev VL - 17 IS - 3 N2 - We explored the relation between maternal mind-mindedness (i.e., a mother's tendency to verbally refer to her infant's mental world through use of infant-directed mental state terms) and maternal attachment. Mothers (N = 76), classified prenatally as Autonomous, Dismissing, Preoccupied, and Unresolved using the Adult Attachment Interview (AAI), simulated speaking to their 6-month-old infants in positive and negative emotion contexts. Mothers' utterances were coded for frequency of use of emotion and cognition-related mind-minded terms. Results indicated a significant negative relation between coherence of mind scores on the AAI and emotion mind-mindedness in the positive emotion context. When differences between insecure attachment categories and mind-mindedness were explored, results indicated that mothers with Preoccupied attachments were significantly more likely to use emotion-related terms than mothers with Dismissing attachments and that these differences were most pronounced in the negative emotion context. A similar pattern was found for mothers with Unresolved attachments compared to those with organized (Autonomous, Dismissing, Preoccupied) attachment classifications, however use of emotion mind-minded terms did not differ by emotional context. Future research directions highlighting the importance of exploring the unique contribution of Preoccupied, Dismissing and Unresolved attachment and emotional context in the exploration of mind-mindedness are discussed. SN - 1469-2988 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/25692379/Maternal_attachment_and_mind_mindedness:_the_role_of_emotional_specificity_ L2 - https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14616734.2014.996573 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -