The Effect of Maternal Anxiety on Mother-Child Attachment
Jul 31, Child's repetitively experience. of distress in the child–parent relationship can become a. precursor of later anxiety disorders. Therefore, an. In general, the nature of child's attachment relationship with the parent can influence of attachment insecurity in children have been linked to anxiety disorders. 13 - Child--parent relations: attachment and anxiety disorders . It is a well- researched paradigm of parent--child relationships, providing the opportunity to test.
No differences between avoidant and ambivalent children were found. Papini, Roggman, and Anderson reported that higher security was related to less social anxiety in early adolescence. Given the long term impairments experienced by socially anxious children, the established association between attachment and anxiety symptoms, and the hypothesized importance of attachment for social relationships, the scarcity of studies addressing the relationship between attachment and social anxiety is surprising.
In addition, social anxiety emerges in middle childhood. These changes may make some children more prone to manifest social anxiety symptoms. Thus, social anxiety may be a developmentally salient aspect of anxiety in middle childhood, an important age at which to investigate links between attachment and social anxiety. The present study tested whether children's perceptions of attachment relate to social anxiety symptoms in middle childhood. As noted earlier, there are two general hypotheses regarding links between attachment and anxiety symptoms.
First, it has been proposed that securely attached children are less at risk for anxiety symptoms than insecurely attached children. Second, it has been proposed that, among insecurely attached children, ambivalently attached children may be at higher risk for anxiety symptoms than avoidantly attached children. A longitudinal design examined both concurrent and earlier perceptions of attachment as predictors of social anxiety symptoms in middle childhood.
Attachment theory and research predicts that attachment should show some consistency over time. The present study extends the previous literature in two ways. First, we examined the relation between attachment patterns and different clusters of social anxiety symptomatology, as conceptualized by La Greca and Stone More precisely, we examined which attachment dimensions are uniquely and consistently related to each dimension of social anxiety.
Mother-Child Attachment and Social Anxiety Symptoms in Middle Childhood
The literature on mother-child attachment suggests that children securely attached to their mothers are more socially competent and form high quality friendships with their peers e.
We therefore expected that more securely attached children would report less anxiety regarding negative evaluation from peers, but had no specific hypotheses regarding social avoidance and distress in general or specific situations.
Cassidy and Berlin suggested that, because ambivalent children are preoccupied with maintaining and gaining proximity to the attachment figure, they are poorly prepared to organize their interactions outside the parent-child relationship and show limited exploratory behaviors in a variety of situations, including peer related circumstances. They manifest fearfulness in social situations such as playing with peers, are less likely to negotiate social offers, and tend to be dependent and submissive.
Their limited familiarity with the environment may contribute to fear of negative evaluation from their peers and feelings of anxiety and distress when facing new social situations or social interactions in general. We therefore expected that all three aspects of social anxiety would be related positively to greater ambivalent attachment. Whereas some studies have found that avoidant attachment is associated with elevated internalizing or anxiety symptoms e.
Because of these mixed previous findings, we did not have a specific hypothesis regarding the relation between avoidant attachment and aspects of social anxiety. Second, we evaluated whether the three aspects of social anxiety are related to earlier or concurrent attachment. Except for a few studies e. We examined whether concurrent attachment has a significant influence on social anxiety symptoms beyond what is predicted by earlier attachment.
Participants The children 51 girls and 53 boys and their mothers first participated in the current study when the children were in the third grade. The final sample included children who returned to the lab when they were in the fifth grade. Seventy-seven families from the original sample participated at Time 2 36 girls and 41 boys and we retained for the analyses only the 74 participants who completed all measures at both times.
The mean SD age at Time 1 was 9. Family status included two-parent intact families The initial and the follow-up samples were compared on demographic child sex and ethnicity, parent education and employment and attachment variables using chi-square analyses and t-tests.
Procedure As part of a larger project, the children and their parents participated in two 2-hour laboratory sessions at the University scheduled approximately two years apart.What is Separation Anxiety? Fear of Abandonment?
At Time 1 they completed questionnaires related to mother-child attachment. At Time 2, children filled out the same attachment measures and they also completed the social anxiety questionnaire. In the current study, children's perceptions of their attachment with mothers were assessed.
The scale provides scores on a single, continuous dimension of security, based on the average of the item scores, with the average score ranging from 1 - 4. Internal consistency for the present study was. Coping Strategies Questionnaire Finnegan et al.
This recommendation is based on evidence that the scales are associated with parenting as suggested by attachment theory. Specifically, Younger et al. In addition, these scale scores accounted for children's adjustment e. In the present study, children answered the questions about preoccupied ambivalent and avoidant styles of relating to their mothers.
The items on the preoccupied scale capture the child's distress if the mother is not available, whereas the items on the avoidant scale indicate that the child does not rely on the mother during a stressful situation.
Items were presented using the same format as the measure of secure attachment. For example, one of the items assessing avoidant attachment presents a hypothetical situation of the mom being away for a few days, but she is coming home later in that day. After talking with her mother about it for a while, her mother says that she needs to stop talking because she has to go do something else. Following Finnegan et al.
Items on the avoidant scale were scored in the same way.
Mother-Child Attachment and Social Anxiety Symptoms in Middle Childhood
Based on the average of the items of each scale, total scores of preoccupied and avoidant coping style were computed. At Time 1, children completed the entire measure 18 items per scale. At Time 2, a shorter version of the Coping Strategies Questionnaire, consisting of 20 items 10 for each scalewas used due to time constraints.
Items selected for the shorter measure were those that showed high item total correlations at Time 1. Therefore, to make the results based on Time 1 and Time 2 comparable, the shortened version of the measure was analyzed at both times. Some of the correlations among attachment patterns were significant. The scale yields three factors: Findings from a study demonstrated that women and men who rate higher in anxious romantic attachment perform more frequent mate retention behaviors. Behaviors to Keep Mate in Relationship Men seem to demonstrate such behaviors more often, and in general they scored higher on tests indicating anxious romantic attachment as compared to women From an evolutionary perspective, greater frequency of mate retention behaviors might make sense since the specter of cuckoldry and uncertain paternity has been an adaptive problem for men Men reported higher scores on behaviors such as direct guarding, vigilance, monopolizing time, inducing jealousy, punishing a partner's infidelity threat, emotional and commitment manipulation, derogatory actions, violence against rivals, submission and debasement, and public signals of possession.
Conversely, women seem to utilize a distinct set of mate retention strategies—namely enhancing their appearance, love, and care Anxious Attachment in Intimate Relationships While much of this discussion is centered on the aspects of anxious attachment on the self, it isn't hard to spot a partnership affected by this issue.
Many anxiously attached individuals can appear clingy, controlling, or even aggressive. Their anxieties reflect their over-dependence on their partner for stability and reassurance—to give their life definition and purpose. Paradoxically this puts a strain on relationships and results in lower relationship satisfaction And while this attachment style cuts a destructive path through the fabric of one's most intimate connections, the dissolution of such a partnership does little to alleviate the condition.
Anxiously attached individuals may react to breakups with angry protests, an all-consuming preoccupation with the former partner, a heightened sexual attraction to win the person back, and often by self-medicating with alcohol or drugs Overcoming Attachment Issues When concerned with the state of their intimate relationships or other relationships in general, anxious individuals would be well-served to consider ways to overcome attachment issues as an important step to improving social aspects of life.
A clinician would help them understand their internal working models, how they relate to others, their early experiences, and their relationships with significant others.
An important goal in therapy could be modifying their working models to accommodate the realities of new experiences and relationships1. October 09, Sources 1. Physical attraction, attachment styles, and dating development. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 30, Anxiety and anger Vol. An ethological approach to personality development. American Psychologist, 46 4 Linking lack of care in childhood to anxiety disorders in emerging adulthood: Child and Adolescent Mental Health, 20 1 The relation between insecure attachment and child anxiety: Adult attachment, emotion dysregulation, and symptoms of depression and generalized anxiety disorder.
American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 83 1 Emotional reactions and regulatory responses to negative and positive events: Associations with attachment and gender. Motivation and emotion, 34 1 Attachment in individuals with social anxiety disorder: Emotion, 1 4 Perceptions vary by sex, attachment anxiety, and behavior.
Insecure romantic attachment dimensions and frequency of mate retention behaviors. Personal Relationships, 23 3 The evolution of desire: Strategies of human mating.