Quality of coparenting and infant-mother attachment: The mediating role of maternal emotional availability

Christine Youngwon Kim, Steffany J. Fredman, Douglas M. Teti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Increasing attention has been paid to the influence of family contextual factors in predicting infant attachment security. However, little is known about the influence of coparenting quality on attachment. The goal of the present study was to examine the associations among parental perceptions of coparenting quality, quality of mothering (as indexed by maternal emotional availability), and infant-mother attachment. Parental reports of positive and negative coparenting quality, maternal emotional availability, and infant-mother attachment were assessed in 152 infants and their parents at 1, 3, 6, 9, and 12 months postpartum. Direct and indirect effects were assessed within a structural equation modeling framework to examine: (a) direct effects of mother-reported coparenting on infant-mother attachment, (b) indirect effects of mother-reported coparenting on infant-mother attachment through maternal emotional availability, and (c) indirect effects of father-reported coparenting on infant-mother attachment through maternal emotional availability. Results indicated that there was an indirect, but not direct, association between mother-reported coparenting quality across the first year of life and infant-mother attachment at 1 year through maternal emotional availability across the first year. Father-reported coparenting across infants' first year was not associated with infant-mother attachment at 1 year. Post hoc analyses revealed that mothers' perceptions of coparenting at 1 month were indirectly linked to attachment at 1 year through maternal emotional availability across the first year. Findings highlight the importance of coparenting quality, especially in the early postpartum, in organizing quality of parenting and infant attachment. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)961-971
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of family psychology : JFP : journal of the Division of Family Psychology of the American Psychological Association (Division 43)
Volume35
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychology(all)

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