Security of attachment and quality of mother-toddler social interaction in a high-risk sample

John D. Haltigan, Brittany L. Lambert, Ronald Seifer, Naomi V. Ekas, Charles R. Bauer, Daniel S. Messinger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The quality of children's social interactions and their attachment security with a primary caregiver are two widely studied indices of socioemotional functioning in early childhood. Although both Bowlby and Ainsworth suggested that the parent-child interactions underlying the development of attachment security could be distinguished from other aspects of parent-child interaction (e.g., play), relatively little empirical research has examined this proposition. The aim of the current study was to explore this issue by examining concurrent relations between toddler's attachment security in the Strange Situation Procedure and quality of mother-child social interaction in a high-risk sample of toddlers characterized by prenatal cocaine exposure and low levels of maternal education. Analyses of variance suggested limited relations between attachment security and quality of social interaction. Further research examining the interrelations among various components of the parent-child relationship is needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)83-93
Number of pages11
JournalInfant Behavior and Development
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2012


  • Attachment
  • Child
  • Prenatal cocaine exposure
  • Social interaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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