• Kathleen F. Norr PhD,

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    • Kathleen F. Norr, PhD, is a medical sociologist and researcher at the College of Nursing, University of Illinois at Chicago. She was codirector with Dr. Roberts of the research at Cook County Hospital. She is currently evaluating a home follow-up program for low-income mothers and infants and directing a pilot of a nurse-managed peer education model for AIDS prevention among women in Botswana, Africa. Dr. Norr is a member of the American Sociological Association and an associate member of NAACOG.

  • Joyce E. Roberts CNM, PhD, FAAN

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    • Joyce E. Roberts, CNM, PhD, FAAN, is currently head of Maternal–Child Nursing at the College of Nursing, University of Illinois at Chicago, where she is investigating caregiver behaviors and their impacts on maternal and fetal condition during the second stage of labor. Dr. Roberts is a member of ACNM, NAACOG, ANA, a Peer Reviewer for JNM, and a reviewer on the Nursing Studies Section, National Institutes of Health. She is Chairperson of the ACNM's Division of Accreditation.

Maternal Child Nursing, College of Nursing (m/C 8021, University of Illinois at Chicago, Box 6998, Chicago, IL 60680.


This comparison of observed attachment behaviors of 184 medically indigent, low-risk, inner-city adolescent and adult mothers addresses three critical questions unanswered by current research regarding the maternal attachments behaviors of adolescents. The 69 mothers aged 14 to 17 and the 36 mothers aged 18 to 19 exhibited significantly fewer maternal attachment behaviors during in-hospital infant feedings than a control group of 79 mothers aged 20 to 24. Verbal reports of adolescent and adult mothers were not reliable indicators of actual attachment behaviors. Two-way analyses of variance, statistically controlling for other background factors and amount of infant contact, did not diminish the impact of maternal age. However, rooming-in and educational levels appropriate for age both had additional independent impacts on maternal attachment scores.