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Psychobiological roots of early attachment

Honjo S, Arai S, Kaneko H, Ujiie T, Murase S, Sechiyama H, Sasaki Y, Hatagaki C, Inagaki E, Usui M, Miwa K, Ishihara M, Hashimoto O, Nomura K, Itakura A, Inoko K, Kapaya H, Mercer E, Boffey F, Jones G, Mitchell C, Anumba D, Laxton-Kane M, Slade P, Mcfarland J, Salisbury A, Battle C, Lester B, McMahon C, Barnett B, Kowalenko N, Tennant C, Mogi K, Nagasawa M, Kikusui T, Müller M, Robertson E, Grace S, Wallington T, Stewart D, Salisbury A, Niaura R, Stroud L, Underwood L, Waldie K, D’Souza S, Peterson E, Morton S, Sarro E, Wilson D, Sullivan R, Breslau N, Davis G, Feldman R, Fleming A, O'Day D, Kraemer G, Hofer M, Radesky J, Zuckerman B, Silverstein M, Rivara F, Barr M, Taylor J, Lengua L, Barr R, Keller H, Lohaus A, Völker S, Elben C, Ball J, Kommers D, Oei G, Chen W, Feijs L, Bambang Oetomo S, Rogério dos Santos Alves; Alex Soares de Souza E, Mercer J, Pederson D, Bailey H, Tarabulsy G, Bento S, Moran G, Perrelli J, Zambaldi C, Cantilino A, Sougey E, Porges S...(+88 more)

Current Biology, vol. 23, issue 3 (2014) pp. 1664-1669

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OBJECTIVE: To determine whether a correlation exists between prenatal and postnatal attachment. DESIGN: Prospective, correlational study with data collected during the second half of pregnancy and again 1-2 months after delivery. SETTING/PARTICIPANTS: Two hundred twenty-eight women were recruited from childbirth education classes. The women were generally young, white, well educated, married, and employed. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The Prenatal Attachment Inventory (PAI) was used to measure attachment before birth. The Maternal Attachment Inventory (MAI), the How I Feel About my Baby Now Scale, and the Maternal Separation Anxiety Scale were used to measure attachment after birth. RESULTS: One hundred ninety-six women completed all the measures. A correlation was found between PAI and MAI scores (r = 0.41, p < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: A correlation between prenatal and postnatal attachment was found. However, the modest size of the correlation indicated that other factors also influenced postnatal scores. Thus, caution should be exercised when promoting increased prenatal attachment in hopes of improving postnatal attachment.

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