Maternal-infant attachment of experienced and inexperienced mothers during infancy

Nurs Res. 1994 Nov-Dec;43(6):344-51.


Differences between maternal-infant attachment and variables affecting attachment were studied for 136 experienced mothers (one or more previous children) and 166 inexperienced (first-time) mothers during the postpartal hospitalization and at 1, 4, and 8 months. Experienced mothers did not differ from inexperienced mothers in maternal-infant attachment at any test period. Fetal attachment explained decreasing amounts of the variance in inexperienced mothers' attachment to their infants over the first 4 months, explaining 11% during postpartal hospitalization, 7% at 1 month, and 4% at 4 months. Fetal attachment entered the experienced mothers' regressions during the early postpartal period only, explaining 3% of the variance. Findings showed that explained variance in maternal-infant attachment for the four test periods ranged from 23% to 43% for experienced mothers and from 13% to 38% for inexperienced mothers.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anxiety
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Mother-Child Relations*
  • Mothers / psychology
  • Object Attachment*
  • Parity*