Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Secure attachment to moms helps irritable babies interact with others

Date:
August 30, 2011
Source:
Society for Research in Child Development
Summary:
New research suggests that highly irritable children who have secure attachments to their mothers are more likely to get along well with others than those who aren't securely attached. For this study, researchers followed 84 infants from birth to age 2, along with their mostly low-income mothers.

Children with difficult temperaments are often the most affected by the quality of their relationships with their caregivers. New research suggests that highly irritable children who have secure attachments to their mothers are more likely to get along well with others than those who aren't securely attached.

Related Articles


These findings, from researchers at the University of Maryland, are published in the journal Child Development.

Researchers followed 84 infants from birth to age 2. About a third were characterized as highly irritable, while two-thirds were characterized as moderately irritable. The study also included their mostly low-income mothers. Irritability was measured using a test administered in the home within a month of the babies' births; the infants had to react to a series of events, including being undressed and hearing a bell ringing.

The researchers also measured infants' attachment at 12 months, based primarily on the babies' behavior when observed with their mothers. Securely attached infants were able to turn toward mom when distressed and use her for comfort, while insecurely attached infants were not.

When the children were 18 and 24 months, they were observed in a laboratory setting to assess how they responded to being around unfamiliar adults and toys.

The study found that for highly irritable babies, the quality of attachment between the children and their mothers predicted how the children responded to unfamiliar adults and toys. Highly irritable newborns were the most sociable as toddlers if they were securely attached and the least sociable as toddlers if they were insecurely attached. In addition, highly irritable infants who were insecurely attached were the least able to engage in exploration as toddlers. In contrast, the quality of infants' attachment was not related to either exploration or sociability in toddlers who were moderately irritable as newborns.

These findings suggest that infants who are highly irritable and can't use their mothers as a secure base have the greatest difficulty interacting with both people and objects. But highly irritable infants who can turn to their mothers for comfort and support have a greater tendency to be sociable in such situations.

The researchers suggest that interventions to help children become securely attached to their caregivers may be especially important for children who are highly irritable. Intervening in this way -- for example, by using video feedback that helps parents become more aware of their infants' needs and respond sensitively -- may be important to irritable children's ability to explore the world around them and engage with others.

The study was supported by the National Institute of Mental Health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Society for Research in Child Development. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Brandi Stupica, Laura J. Sherman, Jude Cassidy. Newborn Irritability Moderates the Association Between Infant Attachment Security and Toddler Exploration and Sociability. Child Development, 29 August 2011 DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2011.01638.x

Cite This Page:

Society for Research in Child Development. "Secure attachment to moms helps irritable babies interact with others." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 August 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110830082104.htm>.
Society for Research in Child Development. (2011, August 30). Secure attachment to moms helps irritable babies interact with others. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110830082104.htm
Society for Research in Child Development. "Secure attachment to moms helps irritable babies interact with others." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110830082104.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) A scandal involving bogus classes and inflated grades at the University of North Carolina was bigger than previously reported, a new investigation found. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Feast your eyes on this gorgeous family-friendly resort. Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
What Your Favorite Color Says About You

What Your Favorite Color Says About You

Buzz60 (Oct. 22, 2014) We all have one color we love to wear, and believe it or not, your color preference may reveal some of your character traits. In celebration of National Color Day, Krystin Goodwin (@kyrstingoodwin) highlights what your favorite colors may say about you. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins