Parenting : science and practice
Prenatal parenting attitudes and parenting behaviors during infancy and early childhood were used as predictors of attachment in children of adolescent mothers at ages 1 and 5. Seventy-eight adolescent mother - child dyads participated. Data were collected at five time points from the third trimester of pregnancy through the children's 5th year. A high percentage of children exhibited disorganized and insecure attachment during both infancy and early childhood; only 30% were securely attached at 1 year and 41% at 5 years. Quality of maternal interactions and cognitive readiness to parent predicted attachment stability; however, only verbal encouragement-stimulation predicted the transition from insecure to secure attachment. Prenatal cognitive readiness to parent independently predicted attachment security at 1 year and accounted for the relation between early maternal interactions and 1-year attachment. Maternal interactions during infancy but not early childhood, predicted 5-year attachment security. Early parenting had a unique and persistent effect on attachment security. However, verbal stimulation during early childhood attenuated the effects of early maternal unresponsiveness on attachment security at age 5. (Author abstract)
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