Associations of maternal sensitivity and embodied mentalizing with infant-mother attachment security at one year in depressed and non-depressed dyads

Mette Skovgaard Væver, Katharina Cordes, Anne Christine Stuart, Anne Tharner, Dana Shai, Rose Spencer, Johanne Smith-Nielsen

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Parental Embodied Mentalizing (PEM) captures the parent's capacity to extrapolate the child's mental states from movement and respond on a nonverbal level. Little is known about PEM's relation to other established measures of parent-child interactive behavior, such as maternal sensitivity and attachment. This is investigated in a sample of four months old infants and mothers with (n = 27) and without a diagnosis of postpartum depression (n = 44). Video-recorded infant-mother interactions were coded independently using PEM and Coding Interactive Behavior. Attachment was assessed at 13 months using the Strange Situation Procedure. Sensitivity and PEM was positively associated, but only sensitivity predicted attachment security and only the nonclinical group. This indicates that PEM and sensitivity are moderately related as well as capturing different aspects of infant-mother interactions. The study confirms previous findings of sensitivity predicting attachment in nonclinical groups. More research is required to further understand predictors of attachment in clinical samples.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalAttachment and Human Development
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 Dec 2020

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