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Attachment behavior of infants exposed prenatally to alcohol: Mediating effects of infant affect and mother-infant interaction

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  31 October 2008

Mary J. O'Connor
Affiliation:
Neuropsychiatric Institute, University of California at Los Angeles
Marian Sigman
Affiliation:
Neuropsychiatric Institute, University of California at Los Angeles
Connie Kasari
Affiliation:
Neuropsychiatric Institute, University of California at Los Angeles

Abstract

Children exposed to alcohol prenatally have been found to be at risk for developmental and behavioral problems; however, the relation between maternal alcohol consumption and other environmental factors has not been fully explored in the literature. In this study, subjects were 44 firstborn infants of women over 30 years of age. Structural equation modeling was used to test the hypothesis that maternal alcohol use during pregnancy was related to infant negative affect. Furthermore, negative affect was assumed to influence the mother-infant relationship. It was hypothesized that mothers of infants exhibiting negative affect would be less positive in interaction and that insecure infant attachment behavior would be more prevalent in these infants. Results of model testing confirmed the hypothesis. In addition, maternal alcohol consumption following pregnancy was not found to influence significantly either maternal interaction or infant attachment behavior.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1992

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