Maternal Working Models of Attachment, Marital Adjustment, and the Parent‐Child Relationship

Rina Das Eiden, Douglas M. Teti, Kathleen M. Corns

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Abstract

This study examined the connection between maternal working models, marital adjustment, and the parent‐child relationship. Subjects were 45 mothers who were observed in problem‐solving interactions with their 16–62‐month‐old children (M= 33 months). Mothers also completed the Attachment Q‐set, the Adult Attachment Interview, and a marital adjustment scale. As predicted, maternal working models were related to the quality of mother‐child interactions and child security, and there was a significant relation between marital adjustment and child security. Maternal working models and marital adjustment were also associated interactively with child behavior and child security. Among children of insecure mothers, child security scores were higher when mothers reported high (vs. low) marital adjustment. No relation between child security scores and mothers' marital adjustment was found among children of secure mothers. These results suggest that maternal working models influence parenting and child adjustment well beyond infancy, to which period the few existing studies of adult attachment have been restricted. The results also suggest that interactions between maternal working models and the marital adjustment on child behavior and attachment security need to be more closely examined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1504-1518
Number of pages15
JournalChild development
Volume66
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1995

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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