[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To date few studies have examined how multiple layers of influences shape the emergence of bed-sharing practices in the first 2years postpartum. In our report, we examined bed-sharing in a large multiethnic sample, exploring the influences of three broad classes of influence on bed-sharing at single time points and across time: (1) sociodemographic and (2) contextual factors such as breastfeeding, maternal mental health and stress, and (3) child temperament and sleep habits.
Frequencies of bed-sharing were assessed at two time points, 2 and 24months, in a population-based multiethnic (Dutch, Turkish or Moroccan, and Caribbean) sample of 6309 children born in the Netherlands.
In Dutch mothers, the majority of mothers did not share their beds with their child, and bed-sharing rates decreased from 2 to 24months. Other ethnic groups showed higher bed-sharing rates, typified by both increases in bed-sharing (the Turkish and Moroccan group) and persistence of bed-sharing over time (the Caribbean group). There were few family and child characteristics associated with bed-sharing in the non-Dutch ethnic groups. In contrast, bed-sharing in Dutch mothers was associated with child temperament and sleeping problems, maternal depression, and sociodemographic variables like crowding and maternal education.
Our results suggest that mothers with a Turkish and Moroccan or Caribbean background were more influenced by cultural values, whereas bed-sharing practices were more reactive in the Dutch group.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We examined associations of disorganized attachment and maternal depressive symptoms with infant autonomic functioning in 450 infant-mother dyads enrolled in the Generation R study. Maternal depressive symptoms were measured 2 months postpartum with the Brief Symptom Inventory. At 14 months, we assessed infant attachment with a slightly shortened Strange Situation and measured infant resting heart rate. Respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) was calculated using spectral analysis. Higher levels of maternal postnatal depressive symptoms predicted lower resting RSA in disorganized infants (B = -0.31, SE = 0.15, p = .04, R(2) = .05) but not in nondisorganized infants (B = 0.05, SE = 0.06, p = .36). This effect was buffered in disorganized infants with a secondary secure attachment classification. Disorganized infants were more vulnerable to the effect of maternal postnatal depressive symptoms on the physiological stress systems.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To examine the association of breastfeeding with maternal sensitive responsiveness and infant-mother attachment security and disorganization.
We included 675 participants of a prospective cohort study. Questionnaires about breastfeeding practices were administered at 2 and 6 months postpartum. At 14 months, maternal sensitive responsiveness was assessed in a 13-minute laboratory procedure using Ainsworth's sensitivity scales, and attachment quality was assessed with the Strange Situation Procedure. Mothers were genotyped for oxytocin receptor genes OXTR rs53576 and OXTR rs2254298. Linear regressions and analyses of covariance adjusted for various background variables were conducted. We tested for mediation and moderation by maternal sensitive responsiveness and maternal oxytocin receptor genotype.
Continuous analyses showed that longer duration of breastfeeding was associated with more maternal sensitive responsiveness (B = 0.11, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.02; 0.20, p < .05), more attachment security (B = 0.24, 95% CI = 0.02; 0.46, p < .05), and less attachment disorganization (B = -0.20, 95% CI -0.36; -0.03, p < .05). Duration of breastfeeding was not related to the risk of insecure-avoidant or insecure-resistant versus secure attachment classification, but longer duration of breastfeeding predicted a lower risk of disorganized versus secure attachment classification (n = 151; odds ratio [OR] = 0.81, 95% CI 0.66 to 0.99, p = .04). Maternal sensitive responsiveness did not mediate the associations, and maternal oxytocin receptor genotype was not a significant moderator.
Although duration of breastfeeding was not associated with differences in infant-mother attachment classifications, we found subtle positive associations between duration of breastfeeding and sensitive responsiveness, attachment security, and disorganization.
Journal of developmental and behavioral pediatrics: JDBP 05/2012; 33(5):396-404. · 2.27 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Aim We studied the effects of early mother-child relationship quality and child temperament on the development of child compliance and active resistance in a large population-based cohort study (n= 534). Background Parenting and the quality of the parent-child relationship can either hamper or support the development of child compliance directly or in interplay with child temperament. Methods Mother-infant dyads were observed at 14 and 36 months and maternal and child behaviours were independently coded. The quality of compliance was assessed at 36 months in a clean-up task. Child behaviour was coded using a system differentiating between two dimensions: Compliance and Active Resistance. Results Controlling for concurrent maternal sensitivity, child temperament, and gender children with a more insecure attachment relationship showed higher levels of active resistance during Clean-Up than more securely attached children. The effect was stronger for boys than for girls and mainly driven by attachment avoidance. Conclusions Early attachment is an important contributor to child socialization of moral behaviour.
Child Care Health and Development 03/2012; · 1.70 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We examined the effects of maternal history of depressive disorder and the effects of depressive symptoms during pregnancy and the early postpartum period on attachment insecurity and disorganization. A total of 627 mother-infant dyads from the Generation R Study participated in a population-based cohort from fetal life onwards. Maternal history of depression was assessed by diagnostic interviews during pregnancy; maternal peri- and postnatal depressive symptoms were assessed with questionnaires in 506 of these women at 20 weeks pregnancy and two months postpartum; and infant-mother attachment security was observed when infants were aged 14 months. A history of maternal depressive disorder, regardless of severity or psychiatric comorbidity, was not associated with an increased risk of infant attachment insecurity or disorganization. Likewise, maternal peri- and postnatal depressive symptoms were not related to attachment insecurity or disorganization at 14 months. These results are important because mothers from otherwise low risk backgrounds often have previously been depressed or are struggling with non-clinical depressive symptoms during pregnancy and after giving birth. Our findings are discussed in terms of protective factors that may limit the potentially negative effects of maternal depressive symptoms on the infant-mother attachment relationship in the general population. The role of selective attrition and lack of information about the mothers' attachment status for the current null-findings are also discussed.
Attachment & Human Development 01/2012; 14(1):63-81. · 2.38 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In two birth cohort studies with genetic, sensitive parenting, and attachment data of more than 1,000 infants in total, we tested main and interaction effects of candidate genes involved in the dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin systems (DRD4, DRD2, COMT, 5-HTT, OXTR) on attachment security and disorganization. Parenting was assessed using observational rating scales for parental sensitivity (Ainsworth, Bell, & Stayton, 1974), and infant attachment was assessed with the Strange Situation Procedure.
We found no consistent additive genetic associations for attachment security and attachment disorganization. However, specific tests revealed evidence for a codominant risk model for COMT Val158Met, consistent across both samples. Children with the Val/Met genotype showed higher disorganization scores (combined effect size d = .22, CI = .10-.34, p < .001). Gene-by-environment interaction effects were not replicable across the two samples.
This unexpected finding might be explained by a broader range of plasticity in heterozygotes, which may increase susceptibility to environmental influences or to dysregulation of emotional arousal. This study is unique in combining the two largest attachment cohorts with molecular genetic and observed rearing environment data to date.
Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 07/2011; 52(12):1295-307. · 5.42 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Maternal sensitive responsiveness and extreme insensitivity only partly explain the variance in attachment security. Differences in attachment security may well be rooted in the interplay of genetic variations and environmental factors. The association between parenting (observed sensitive responsiveness and extreme insensitivity) and attachment security (assessed with the Strange Situation Procedure) was hypothesized to be moderated by genes involved in the regulation of the stress response: the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) and mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) genes. A significant G×E interaction was found: infants carrying the minor MR allele (G) were significantly more securely attached if their mothers showed more sensitive responsiveness and significantly less securely attached if their mothers showed more extremely insensitive behaviors. These associations were not significant for carriers of the AA genotype of MR. Findings are discussed from a differential susceptibility perspective.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Family history is a major risk factor for child problem behaviour, yet few studies have examined the association between grandparental psychiatric disorder and child problem behaviour. Results are inconsistent as to whether the effect of grandparental depression on child problem behaviour is independent of parental psychopathology.
Mothers and their children participated in an ethnically Dutch subcohort of a population-based prospective cohort in the Netherlands. N = 816 (66%) mothers and n = 691 fathers participated in the prenatal interviews. N = 687 (84%) mothers and children and n = 565 (82%) fathers participated three years postpartum. (Grand)parental psychopathology was assessed during pregnancy of the mothers with the Family Informant Schedule and Criteria (FISC), the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI) and the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI). Child behaviour was assessed with the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) by mother and father when the child was three years old.
Grandparental anxiety disorder predicted maternal reports of children's internalizing problems (OR = 1.98, 95% C.I. (1.20, 3.28), p-value<0.01) and externalizing problems (OR = 1.73, 95% C.I. (1.04, 2.87), p-value = 0.03), independent of parental psychopathology. Results were similar for grandparental depression; internalizing OR = 1.75, 95% C.I (1.11, 2.75), p-value = 0.02 and externalizing OR = 1.67, 95% C.I. (1.05, 2.64) p-value = 0.03. However, grandparental psychopathology was not associated with children's problem behaviour as reported by the father.
Information on grandparental lifetime psychiatric disorder was assessed through a parental interview which may have led to an underestimation of the prevalence rates.
These results confirm the importance of a family history including not only the parental but also the grandparental generations.
Journal of affective disorders 01/2011; 128(1-2):95-105. · 3.76 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Attachment disorganization in infancy is a risk factor for behavior problems and other psychopathology. Traditionally the role of parental behavior for qualitative differences in early attachment relationships has been emphasized. However, disrupted infant-parent interactions only partly explain attachment disorganization. A complementary focus on child factors such as early differences in the underlying neurobiological systems is needed. We examined whether early structural differences in the gangliothalamic ovoid, comprising the basal ganglia and the thalamus, are involved in the etiology of infant attachment disorganization. Gangliothalamic ovoid diameter was measured by ultrasound in 6-week-old participants of a prospective population-based cohort study. Attachment classification of 629 of these infants was assessed with the strange situation at 14 months of age. Neurobiological differences within the normal range were prospectively associated with attachment disorganization. Infants with a larger gangliothalamic ovoid at 6 weeks had a lower risk of attachment disorganization at 14 months (OR = 0.73 per SD increase in diameter, 95% CI 0.57-0.93, p < .05). Volume of the lateral ventricles as an index of general brain development was not associated with attachment disorganization. These findings provide new insight into the etiology of infant attachment disorganization that may in part be neurodevelopmentally determined.
Social neuroscience 01/2011; 6(4):336-47. · 3.17 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Quality of the parent-infant attachment relationship influences physiological stress regulation. Genetic factors also contribute to the stress regulatory HPA-axis. Quality of attachment as an index of the rearing environment (measured with the Strange Situation Procedure, SSP), and HPA-axis related SNPs (BclI, rs41423247; TthIIII, rs10052957; GR-9β, rs6198; N363S, rs6195; ER22/23EK, rs6189 and 6190; and FKBP5, rs1360780) were hypothesized to be related to cortisol reactivity in the stressful SSP. In this large population based sample, FKBP5 rs1360780, but not GR haplotype, was related to cortisol reactivity. Moreover, we found a significant interaction effect for insecure-resistant attachment and FKBP5 rs1360780, indicating a double-risk for heightened cortisol reactivity levels in infants with one or two T-alleles of the FKBP5 SNP and an insecure-resistant attachment relationship with their mother. Findings are discussed from the perspective of gene-environment interaction.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Both attachment insecurity and maternal depression are thought to affect infants' emotional and physiological regulation. In the current study, Strange Situation Procedure (SSP) attachment classifications, and cortisol stress reactivity and diurnal rhythm were assessed at 14 months in a prospective cohort study of 369 mother-infant dyads. Maternal lifetime depression was diagnosed prenatally using the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI). Insecure-resistant infants showed the largest increase in cortisol levels from pre- to post-SSP; the effect was even stronger when they had depressive mothers. Disorganized children showed a more flattened diurnal cortisol pattern compared to nondisorganized children. Findings are discussed from the perspective of a cumulative risk model.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this meta-analysis of 75 studies on more than 3,888 children in 19 different countries, the intellectual development of children living in children’s homes (orphanages) was compared with that of children living with their (foster) families. Children growing up in children’s homes showed lower IQ’s than did children growing up in a family (trimmed d = 0.74). The age at placement in the children’s home, the age of the child at the time of assessment, and the developmental level of the country of residence were associated with the size of the delays. Children growing up in children’s homes show a substantial lower level of IQ (average IQ of 84) than their peers reared in (foster) families (average IQ of 104), and the difference amounted to 20 IQ points. More research is needed to detect the causes of the large IQ delays and to test ways of improving the intellectual development of millions of children in orphanages around the world.