Adult Attachment, Parent Emotion, and Observed Parenting Behavior: Mediator and Moderator Models

Emma K. Adam, Megan R. Gunnar, Akiko Tanaka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

144 Scopus citations

Abstract

In a middle-class sample of mothers of 2-year-olds, adult attachment classifications measured in the Adult Attachment Interview (AAI) were related to maternal self-reported emotional well-being and observed parenting behavior, and the potential mediating and moderating roles of maternal emotion were tested. Mothers classified as dismissing on the AAI reported significantly lower levels of positive affectivity. Mothers classified as preoccupied reported significantly higher levels of negative affectivity and anxiety. Preoccupied mothers were observed to be significantly higher on angry/intrusive parenting, but this association was not mediated by attachment-related differences in maternal emotion. Maternal emotional well-being did, however, moderate the associations between adult attachment and parenting behavior: Dismissing attachment was significantly associated with lower warmth/responsiveness only among mothers with higher levels of depressive symptoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)110-122
Number of pages13
JournalChild development
Volume75
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2004

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