Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: The pressure of parenting : does it predict attachment? : a study of the contribution of maternal parenting stress and family functioning to infant attachment
Author: Ward, Nicola
ISNI:       0000 0001 3563 209X
Awarding Body: Open University
Current Institution: Open University
Date of Award: 2001
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
Objective: To investigate whether maternal levels of parenting stress and maternal report of family functioning measured during an infant's first year predict infant attachment in the second year. Previous studies have demonstrated a concurrent relationship between these two factors and infant attachment, but not a predictive one. Design: Prospective. Method: Participants were 104 mothers and their 17-month old infants who were already part of a large prospective study of normal infants. Demographic information was collected when the infants were 3 months old. The Parenting Stress Index (Short Form) and the General Functioning Scale of the Family Assessment Device were completed by the mother at 10 months. At 17 months the mother and her infant took part in the Strange Situation procedure to assess attachment. Results: Neither parenting stress nor family functioning predicted attachment when the data from the whole sample were analysed. However, in a subgroup of mothers reporting high parenting stress, higher levels of parenting stress predicted an ambivalent infant attachment. In addition, poor family functioning also predicted an ambivalent attachment in a subgroup of mothers scoring at or above the clinical cut-off for family functioning. Conclusions: Mothers in this study did not find parenting very stressful - this may explain the failure to confirm the hypotheses in the full sample. The fact that, above a certain threshold, parenting stress did affect later infant attachment indicates that different processes may operate in mothers with high and low levels of parenting stress.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Psychology