A structured childhood history interview was administered to 50 low-income mothers of infants. Three levels of risk for infant maltreatment were represented in the sample, including 10 maltreatment cases. Maternal behavior at home was rated and factor analyzed when the infants were 12 months and 18 months old, yielding separate factors labelled maternal involvement and hostile-intrusiveness. Risk for maltreatment was strongly correlated with the overall adversity of the mother's childhood history. Maternal hostile-intrusive behavior was best accounted for by psychiatric disorder in the mother's own mother and poor peer relationships in childhood. Maternal involvement was negatively associated with a separate cluster of variables indexing family disruption and lack of supervision. The emergence of two separate clusters of associations — positive affective involvement and negative affective involvement — is related to similar two-dimensional results in studies of self-reported mood, infant attachment relationships, and peer relationships. Implications of a two-dimensional affective construct for future theorizing in developmental psychopathology are discussed.