The effect of infant colic on maternal self-perceptions and mother-infant attachment

Child Care Health Dev. 1998 Sep;24(5):339-51. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2214.2002.00088.x.


Mothers of infants who developed colic were compared with mothers of non-colic infants on their perceptions of parenting self-efficacy, and separation anxiety as well as their attachment relationship with their infants. Colic was identified prospectively through telephone contacts with mothers. Questionnaires on self-efficacy and separation anxiety were completed when infants were 5 months of age. At 18 months of age mothers and infants (colic and non-colic) participated in a laboratory situation to measure attachment. Results revealed that mothers of colic infants reported feeling less competent as mothers. In addition, while mothers of colicky infants tended to have more separation anxiety than mothers of non-colic infants, they felt that these separations did not have a negative effect on their child. Finally, no differences were revealed for attachment classifications between colic and non-colic infants at 18 months.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anxiety, Separation*
  • Colic / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Maternal Behavior*
  • Mother-Child Relations*
  • Object Attachment*