• Chinese;
  • cross-sectional;
  • maternal attachment inventory;
  • reliability;
  • validity

Aims and objectives

To develop the Maternal Attachment Inventory (MAI) into Chinese and assess its psychometric properties.


The MAI measures of maternal affectionate attachment. This scale displays the most appropriate indicators associated with attachment and has been widely adopted in different fields for measuring maternal–infant attachment.


Cross-sectional survey design.


The study was carried out in two clinics. From the accessible population of 507 samples, a simple random sampling method of selection was used to randomly choose 200 names of mothers at 4–8 months after delivery using a computer. One hundred and eighty-one mothers agreed to participate in the study. The Chinese version of the MAI (CMAI) was developed in five stages: translation, review, back-translation, a review by a panel of specialists and a pilot test. Regarding the reliability of the CMAI, a test of correlations between the subscales and the entire scale was performed consecutively. With respect to the validity of the MAI, exploratory factor analyses, a test of relationships between items and subscales, and an analysis of concurrent criterion-related validity were conducted.


The CMAI contains four factors in its structure. The CMAI and its subscales possess good internal consistency; the Cronbach's α coefficient was 0·94. In addition, the Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient between the CMAI and the Maternal–Fetal Attachment Inventory (MFAI) and between the CMAI and the Maternal–Infant Attachment Inventory (MIAI) was 0·38 and 0·5, respectively. This suggests significant medium and high respective correlations between the CMAI and these two scales. One major limitation of this study is that participants were recruited from two clinics located in central Taiwan.


The CMAI possesses acceptable reliability and validity for use in measuring the levels of attachment and affectional ties between mothers and their infants.

Relevance to clinical practice

The CMAI provides further evidence of the applicability of the CMAI in clinical maternity care services.