QUALITY OF INFANT ATTACHMENT AS A CONSEQUENCE OF PARENTING BEHAVIOR AND ACCULTURATION IN HISPANIC MOTHERS

MARIA PERRIE FRACASSO, Fordham University

Abstract

Attachment research using the Strange Situation has typically employed samples of Anglo-American families, with few studies attempting to examine attachment in different cultural environments. The present research determined the distribution of patterns of attachment classifications in Hispanic infants; maternal behaviors related to these attachment classifications; and the influence of acculturation on maternal behaviors as well as on attachment classifications. During a lab visit, 24 Puerto Rican and 26 Dominican mothers and their 12-15 month old infants were videotaped in the Strange Situation. During a home visit, mothers were given an Acculturation interview and asked to play with their infants while an observer made a report of the mothers' behavior. Results indicated that 30% of the infants were classified as avoidant (A), 50% were secure (B), 20% were ambivalent (C). Findings revealed significantly more securely attached boys and insecurely attached girls. The cultural value of "machismo" may influence the development of attachment relationships between Hispanic mothers and their sons. t-tests indicated that mothers of secure infants were sensitive and picked up their infants affectionately, while mothers of insecure infants spent more time holding the baby in routines and picked up their infants abruptly. Consequently, there were pertinent maternal behaviors which individually significantly discriminated Hispanic mothers of secure and insecure infants. There were no significant relationships between mothers level of acculturation and maternal behaviors or the infant's attachment classification. Mothers level of acculturation was not influential in determining the amount or type of maternal behavior and did not affect the distribution of attachment classifications. A discriminant analysis indicated that the distinguishing behaviors of mothers of secure infants when compared to mothers of insecure infants were their sensitivity and frequent use of physical interventions. In contrast, mothers of insecure infants spent more time holding their infants in routines. Hence, maternal behaviors, when taken together disciminate secure and insecure attachment classifications in an Hispanic sample. The behaviors that distinguished mothers of secure from insecure boys were the increased tender holding and decreased inept holding. However, behaviors that distinguished mothers of secure from insecure girls were increased maternal sensitivity and use of physical interventions. ^

Subject Area

Psychology, Developmental

Recommended Citation

MARIA PERRIE FRACASSO, "QUALITY OF INFANT ATTACHMENT AS A CONSEQUENCE OF PARENTING BEHAVIOR AND ACCULTURATION IN HISPANIC MOTHERS" (January 1, 1987). ETD Collection for Fordham University. Paper AAI8714582.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8714582

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