Frontiers of Infant Psychiatry - Vol. 2

By Justin D. Call; Eleanor Galenson et al. | Go to book overview
Save to active project

17
The Contribution of Twinship and Health to
Early Interaction and Attachment Between
Premature Infants and Their Mothers

Klaus Minde, M.D., F.R.C.P.(C).

Carl Corter, Ph.D.

Susan Goldberg, Ph.D.

The parent-infant attachment relationship has long been a focus for theories concerning the origins of mental health and disturbance; in the past two decades, it has also been the focus of a great deal of empirical research. In this paper, we briefly review certain theoretical approaches that have inspired much of the research; this review reveals several unresolved theoretical issues and some limitations of existing research. These questions are then related to our own study, which has examined the mother-infant attachment relationship developing under the biological risk factors of prematurity, illness, and twin birth.

Watching the developing relationship between a mother and her twin infants permitted a particularly revealing examination of the maternal side of the relationship. By observing how the mother interacted with two different infants at the same time, we were able to determine how infant characteristics affect the mother's behavior and how these effects are changed or maintained over time. In addition, by employing a larger number of measures of maternal functioning than most previous researchers have done, ranging from objective observations of maternal behavior to interview analysis of maternal attitudes and affect, we could capture a more lifelike picture of early development.

Although the parent-child relationship is generally recognized as a dynamic dyad, theorists have nevertheless simplified matters by analyzing it primarily from the point of view of one of the participants. Thus the term attachment has generally been applied to infants' behaviors, cognitions, and feelings toward the mother, while the term bonding has been used to describe mothers' earliest feelings and behaviors toward their infants. Because so much of the work on attachment and bonding is based on Bowlby's theory of development, we first consider his account of processes in the development of human attachment.


BOWLBY'S THEORY

Bowlby's belief in the importance of the attachment relationship has changed little since 1951 when he wrote that "what is believed to be essential for mental health is that the infant

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Frontiers of Infant Psychiatry - Vol. 2
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 564

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?