Co Qr

Figure 3.2 Reciprocal interaction at 1, 3, and 9 months as a function of one-year infant-mother attachment classification. (Adapted from Belsky, Rovine, & Taylor, 1984.)

earlier findings, it was predicted that insecure-avoidant dyads would be characterized by intrusive, overstimulating interactions and that insecure-avoidant dyads would be characterized by unresponsive-detached caregiving.

To generate indices of synchrony and asynchrony, it was necessary to inspect the behaviors checked off on our behavior checklist during each and every 15-second observation period, along with those checked off in each of the two adjacent 15-second sampling periods. This enabled Isabella to determine whether the infant and mother behaviors that were recorded within three adjacent periods reflected synchronous and asynchronous interactions. Then, relying upon a sophisticated point-prediction analytic technique, results again substantiated our hypotheses (Isabella, Belsky, & von Eye, 1989; Isabella & Belsky, 1991). Thus, findings from the first inquiry were replicated and extended. In fact, not only had interaction processes reflective of overstimulation been related to insecure-avoidance and those reflective of unresponsive-detachment proven predictive of insecure-resistance in three separate samples which relied on similar approaches to recording mother-infant interaction (i.e., time-sampled behaviors) but dramatically different approaches to parameterizing interaction processes, but in a number of other inquiries similar results obtained (e.g., Lewis & Feiring, 1989; Malatesta et al., 1989; Smith & Pedersen, 1988; Leyendecker et al.,1997). Significantly, all these findings were generally consistent with Ainsworth's (1973) original theorizing linking sensitive and appropriately responsive care with the establishment of a secure attachment to mother by baby (for meta-analysis, see De Wolff & van Ijzendoorn, 1997).

The same was true, it turned out, when the NICHD Early Child Care Research Network (1997), of which I was a part, examined the developmental antecedents of infant-mother attachment security, measured when infants were 15 months of age, as part of its effort to examine the effects of early child care on child development (see below). As expected, it was found that higher levels of observed maternal sensitivity when infants were 6 and 15 months of age predicted increased likelihood of a child establishing a secure attachment to mother—in a sample of over 1,000 children, the largest ever examined with respect to the determinants of attachment security. Especially interesting is that a meta-analysis of the results of 66 studies which did not include the findings from the just-cited NICHD Study of Early Child Care showed, as well, that a variety of indices of maternal sensitivity, interactional synchrony, and dyadic mutuality systematically related to attachment security in just the manner detected in my own work and that of the large child-care study (De Wolff & van IJzendoorn, 1997). Clearly, just as Ainsworth (1973) had theorized and found in her original very small sample investigation, the nature of the child's interactional experiences with mother contributed to determining whether an infant developed a secure or insecure attachment.

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