The prediction of attachment and temperament at one year from early social interaction
Ackerman, Mona R.
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This study examined how well mother-infant interaction and infant temperament at 2 and 4 months can predict attachment and temperament at one year. It investigated bi-directional influence in the mother-infant interaction as a predictor variable, and the possibility that infant temperament works transactionally with mother-infant interaction to predict attachment.;By observing 14 mother-infant pairs at home, data was collected at 2 and 4 months on engagement variables (gaze, vocalization, and facial expressions) and on temperament, and at one year on attachment and temperament. Scores were derived for gaze aversion mean durations, temperament approach/withdrawal and degree of difficulty, and attachment security. Time series regression analyses were used to develop new standardized measures of the mother's influence on the infant and the infant's influence on the mother, a dyadic standardized sum interpersonal influence score and a dyadic standardized sum self-influence score. A repeated measures analysis of variance evaluated continuity from 2 to 4 months for these new standardized influence measures. Finally, the temperament scores and the new influence scores at 4 months were used in a hierarchical multiple regression equation to determine if these two variables predicted attachment and temperament at 1 year.;Results of the study indicate that the new dyadic standardized sum interpersonal influence score at 4 months predicts attachment at 1 year. The standardized sum scores of the mother's influence on the infant, of the infant's influence on the mother, and mother and infant self-influence, as well as gaze aversion durations, demonstrate continuity from 2 to 4 months. Temperament scores at 4 months do not predict attachment at 1 year, and temperament does not work transactionally with the dyadic interpersonal influence score at 4 months to predict attachment at 1 year.