The influence of attachment and temperament on venipuncture distress in 14-month-old infants: the Generation R Study

N.J. Wolff, A.S. Darlington, J.A. Hunfeld, A. Tharner, M.H. van IJzendoorn, M.J. Bakermans-Kranenburg, H.A. Moll, V.W. Jaddoe, A. Hofman, F.C. Verhulst, J. Passchier, H. Tiemeier

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


OBJECTIVE: This study examined the effects of attachment and temperament on infant distress during venipuncture.

METHOD: The study was embedded in the Generation R Study, a prospective population-based study. Two different research procedures (i.e., blood sampling and the Ainsworth Strange Situation Procedure) yielded measures of venipuncture distress and attachment security and disorganization in 246 infants aged 14 months. Four temperament traits (distress to limitations, fear, recovery from distress, and sadness) were assessed using the maternally reported Infant Behavior Questionnaire-Revised, at the age of 6 months.

RESULTS: There were no differences between mean levels of distress during venipuncture in infants classified as having insecure attachment, but there was a trend for disorganized attachment. The temperament traits were not related to distress. However, children with a disorganized attachment and higher temperamental fear had more venipuncture distress.

CONCLUSION: When different risk factors are present simultaneously, infant distress is heightened.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)293-302
Number of pages10
JournalInfant Behavior and Development
Issue number2
Early online date11 Feb 2011
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2011



  • Adult
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Behavior/physiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mother-Child Relations
  • Object Attachment
  • Phlebotomy/psychology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Stress, Psychological/psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Temperament/physiology
  • Young Adult

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