This study was conducted with the support of the Wellcome Trust of Great Britain (Grant number 053442/Z/98/Z). We are grateful to the mothers and infants who participated in this study. We wish to thank Nokwanda Mtoto for assistance with subject recruitment, Nosisana Nama, Nomalanga Mosala, and Pumza Sakasa for carrying out the assessments, Melanie Gunning, Agnesi Fiori-Cowley, and Liz Schofield for training and reliability work on the interaction and attachment assessments, and Robin Sandler for help with data entry.
The Mother–Infant Relationship and Infant Attachment in a South African Peri-Urban Settlement
Article first published online: 8 SEP 2005
Volume 76, Issue 5, pages 1044–1054, September/October 2005
How to Cite
Tomlinson, M., Cooper, P. and Murray, L. (2005), The Mother–Infant Relationship and Infant Attachment in a South African Peri-Urban Settlement. Child Development, 76: 1044–1054. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2005.00896.x
- Issue published online: 8 SEP 2005
- Article first published online: 8 SEP 2005
A sample of 147 mother–infant dyads was recruited from a peri-urban settlement outside Cape Town and seen at 2- and 18-months postpartum. At 18 months, 61.9% of the infants were rated as securely attached (B); 4.1% as avoidant (A); 8.2% as resistant (C); and 25.8% disorganized (D). Postpartum depression at 2 months, and indices of poor parenting at both 2 and 18 months, were associated with insecure infant attachment. The critical 2-month predictor variables for insecure infant attachment were maternal intrusiveness and maternal remoteness, and early maternal depression. When concurrent maternal sensitivity was considered, the quality of the early mother–infant relationship remained important, but maternal depression was no longer predictive. Cross-cultural differences and consistencies in the development of attachment are discussed.