Parenting self-efficacy moderates linkage between partner relationship dissatisfaction and avoidant infant-mother attachment: A Dutch study

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Abstract

The early infant-mother attachment relationship is part of a network of close relationships in which the relationship between parents is especially relevant. Evidence for linkages between maternal satisfaction with the partner relationship and infant-mother attachment is equivocal. The current study tested whether associations between partner relationship dissatisfaction and infant-mother attachment quality might be conditional on mothers' parenting self-efficacy. The bivariate effect of partner relationship dissatisfaction on infant-mother attachment as well as moderation of this effect by parenting self-efficacy was tested in a sample of 260 infant-mother dyads 1 year after birth. There was no direct effect of partner dissatisfaction on attachment. Unexpectedly, for high parenting self-efficacy, greater partner dissatisfaction increased the odds of an avoidant infant attachment (compared with a disorganized) whereas, for low parenting self-efficacy, greater partner dissatisfaction decreased the odds of an avoidant infant attachment (compared with secure and disorganized). Findings underline the importance of parenting cognitions for understanding contextual factors of infant-mother attachment quality
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)935-943
JournalJournal of Family Psychology
Volume30
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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