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Title: Linking child care to infant attachment : what lies in-between?
Author: Robinson, Alex
ISNI:       0000 0001 3527 1634
Awarding Body: Open University
Current Institution: Open University
Date of Award: 2000
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Objectives: To investigate the relationship between maternal separation anxiety, hours in non-maternal child care and security of motherinfant attachment in early infancy. Design: Prospective. Methods: The participants for this study were 67 mothers and their infants enrolled in a large scale prospective study. The first 100 women were sent a letter outlining the current study and requested to 'opt in'. Those mothers who agreed to participate completed the Maternal Separation Anxiety Scale (MSAS) when the infant was ten and seventeen months. The mother-infant attachment relationship was assessed according to the standardised Strange Situation Procedure when the infant was aged seventeen months (+/- two weeks). All other data were collected in the main study. Results: Maternal Separation Anxiety was not predictive (alone or in combination with other variables) of attachment status. Significant differences in levels of separation anxiety were found between mothers who were and mothers who were not employed outside the home. Separation anxiety was also related to a number of variables, including the age of the infant when the mother planned to use non-maternal child care, the total hours of non-maternal child care, infant temperament and maternal sensitivity. Conclusions: The non-significant results in the main analysis mean that no firm conclusions regarding a relationship between levels of maternal separation anxiety, hours in non-maternal child care and security of mother-infant attachment in infancy can be drawn. Future research (with a larger and more diverse sample) should continue to explore the concept of maternal separation anxiety in relation to a number of other variables, including maternal role preference and quality of child care, as it may hold important implications for social policy and preventative clinical work.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Maternal seperation