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Mother's Attachment Concerns Regarding Spouse and Infant's Temperament as Modulators of Maternal Separation Anxiety

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 November 2000

Ofra Mayseless
Affiliation:
University of Haifa, Israel
Anat Scher
Affiliation:
University of Haifa, Israel
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Abstract

The modulators of maternal separation anxiety were examined in a longitudinal study with 97 mothers of infants from 3 to 9 months of age. The objective of the study was to examine the joint contribution of the mother's attachment concerns as related to her husband together with the perception of the infant's temperament to her concerns over separation from her child. Maternal worries about separation from 3-month-old infants predicted maternal separation anxiety when infants were 9 months old. Mother's attachment to her husband and her perception of her child's temperament further predicted maternal separation anxiety at 9 months over and above the worries at 3 months. Mothers who feared dependent relationships with their husbands experienced high levels of maternal separation anxiety. This tendency was particularly marked when the infant was perceived as adaptable at 3 months. In addition, secure mothers, namely, mothers low in fear of abandonment and in fear of being dependent, increased their maternal separation anxiety as a function of their infant's perceived unadaptability.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© 2000 Association for Child Psychology and Psychiatry

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