The Relationship of Maternal Behavior and Acculturation to the Quality of Attachment in Hispanic Infants Living in New York City
AbstractThe present exploratory study examined maternal parenting behavior and patterns of attachment using the Ainsworth Strange Situation with a Hispanic sample. Twenty-four Puerto Rican and 26 Dominican mother-infant dyads were videotaped in the strange situation and observed in their homes. As in other cross-cultural and subcultural studies, the pattern of attachment classifications differed from that reported for middle-class Euro-American populations: Overall there was an equal number of secure and insecure infants. Additionally, there were sex differences in the distributions of attachment patterns: Although two thirds of the boys were securely attached, two thirds of the girls were insecurely attached. The maternal behaviors that distinguished mothers of securely from insecurely attached infants in this study were also disparate from those found in previous studies using non-Hispanic samples. These findings provide a descriptive basis forfuture research with Hispanics and are importantfor their implications regarding the development of inner-city Hispanic children.