• mothers' attachment;
  • center care;
  • home care


In the debate concerning the effects of day care on infant development, insufficient attention has been paid to the potential relationship between pre-existing emotional differences among mothers and the type of care they choose for their infants. To shed light on this issue, this study examines the attachment representations of mothers who choose day-care centres as opposed to mothers who choose to remain at home with their infants. Participants were 76 primiparous mothers. Mothers' attachment classifications were assessed by the Adult Attachment Interview [AAI; Main M, Kaplan N, Cassidy J. 1985. Security in infancy, childhood, and adulthood: a move to the level of representation. In Growing Points of Attachment Theory and Research. Monograph of the Society for Research in Child Development, 50, (1–2, serial no. 209), Bretherton I, Waters E (eds); 66–104]. Results indicate that more Day-care than Home-Care mothers are classified as insecurely attached. These results highlight the contribution of maternal emotional characteristics to the effects of diverse child care arrangements on infant development. Copyright © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.