Multi-risk infants: Predicting attachment security from sociodemographic, psychosocial, and health risk among African-American preterm infants

Margo Candelaria, Douglas M. Teti, Maureen M. Black

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Ecological and transactional theories link child outcomes to accumulated risk. This study hypothesized that cumulative risk was negatively related to attachment, and that maternal sensitivity mediated linkages between risk and attachment. Methods: One hundred and twelve high-risk African-American premature infant-mother dyads participated. Psychosocial (maternal depression, stress and self-efficacy) and sociodemographic risk (poverty, maternal education, marital status) were maternal self-report (0-4 months). Infant health risk was obtained from hospital charts. Infant-mother attachment (12 months) and maternal sensitivity (4 months) were assessed with Q-sort measures. Findings: Psychosocial and sociodemographic risk, but not infant health risk, negatively related to attachment. Both were mediated by maternal sensitivity. Conclusions: The impact of risk domains on attachment security was mediated by maternal sensitivity. Results emphasize the need for early intervention programs targeting premature infants to identify and address environmental and personal factors that place parenting at risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)870-877
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines
Volume52
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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