Mothers' attachment styles and their children's self-reported security, as related to maternal socialization of children's positive affect regulation.Attach Hum Dev. 2015; 17(4):376-98.AH
This study investigated how mothers' attachment was related to their responses to their own and their children's positive events and positive affect (PA). Ninety-seven mothers reported on their attachment and their responses to their own and their 7-12-year-old children's positive events and emotions. Children reported on their mothers' responses to the children's positive events and their attachment security with their mothers. The results indicated that more avoidant mothers reported less intense PA in response to their own and their children's positive events. More avoidant mothers also were less likely to encourage their children to savor positive events (through expressing PA, reflecting on PA or themselves, giving rewards, and affectionate responses). Mothers higher on anxiety reported greater likelihood of dampening (e.g., minimizing the event's importance) their own positive events and reported being more likely to feel discomfort and to reprimand their children for expressing PA. Children's security was predicted by mothers' lower likelihood of encouraging children's dampening and of reprimanding children for PA displays. This study advances the literature on how mothers' attachment is related to the ways in which they regulate their own and their children's PA, which may have implications for children's attachment and developing PA regulation.