The role of disconnected and extremely insensitive parenting in the development of disorganized attachment: Validation of a new measure

Dorothée Out, Marian J. Bakermans-Kranenburg, Marinus H. van IJzendoorn

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Early adverse caregiving experiences constitute an important risk factor for the development of disorganized attachment in infancy, especially extreme insensitivity and frightening behavior associated with an unresolved loss or trauma. Using existing measures for frightening parenting and disrupted communication, we developed a new measure assessing Disconnected and extremely Insensitive Parenting (DIP), in order to investigate the unique contribution of disconnected and extremely insensitive parenting behaviors to infant disorganization. Maternal behavior was assessed during a laboratory session in a low-risk sample of 202 mothers and their infants. Construct and discriminant validity of the DIP was established for both types of parental behavior. Disconnected parental behavior predicted infant disorganization but not organized attachment security, whereas extreme insensitivity was marginally related to organized attachment insecurity in boys but not to attachment disorganization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)419-443
Number of pages25
JournalAttachment and Human Development
Volume11
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 Dec 2009
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Disorganized attachment
  • Dissociation
  • Extreme insensitivity
  • Parenting
  • Trauma

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