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.

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 September 21, 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 September 21, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Food Addiction Might Be Caused By PTSD

Food Addiction Might Be Caused By PTSD

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) New research shows that women who suffer from PTSD are three times more likely to develop a food addiction. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Corporal punishment in the United States is on the decline, but there is renewed debate over its use after Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was charged with child abuse. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

AP (Sep. 15, 2014) The FDA is considering whether to ban devices used by the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Massachusetts, the only place in the country known to use electrical skin shocks as aversive conditioning for aggressive patients. (Sept. 15) Video provided by AP
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:
from the past week

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