Type a behavior pattern in mothers of infants: An exploration of associations with attachment, sensitive caregiving, and life-events

Marinus H. Van Ijzendoorn*, Marian J. Bakermans-Kranenburg, Paul R.J. Falger, Corine De Ruiter, Leo Cohen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

In the present study, 83 lower- to upper-middle class mothers of first-born, 12-month-old infants were interviewed with the Adult Attachment Interview (George, Kaplan, and Main, 1985), and completed the Groninger Intelligence Test (Luteijn and Van der Ploeg, 1982). Eighteen months after the beginning of the study, 67 mothers (81% of the original sample) were interviewed with the Structured Interview (Rosenman, 1978), and were observed during a brief, semi-structured play session at home with their child - at that time a 2.5-years-old toddler. They also completed a checklist about major life-events that had occurred during the past 18 months. A large majority of these mothers of young children (81%) showed Type A behavior patterns. The job of parenting, indeed, appears to be stressful. Attachment and Type A behaviors, however, did not seem to be related, probably because the influence of attachment is restricted to the regulation of emotions in intimate relationships. Yet, Type A behavior predicted a more sensitive parenting style than Type B did. All mothers who experienced negative life-events or serious health problems in the recent past showed Type A behavior patterns. Our findings show that the Structured Interview can be applied in a valid manner to mothers of young children passing through a demanding phase in their lives. Further research is needed to uncover the causes of the high prevalence of Type A behaviors in young mothers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)515-526
Number of pages12
JournalPsychology and Health
Volume13
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1998
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Adult attachment
  • Life events
  • Mothers
  • Sensitive parenting
  • Type A behaviors

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Type a behavior pattern in mothers of infants: An exploration of associations with attachment, sensitive caregiving, and life-events'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this