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Research Article

Intergenerational Transmission of Psychosocial Risk: Maternal Childhood Adversity, Mother-Child Attachment, and Child Temperament

Authors:

Andrée-Anne Bouvette-Turcot ,

University of Montreal, Douglas Mental Health Research Institute of McGill University, CA
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Annie Bernier,

University of Montreal, CA
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Michael Meaney

Douglas Mental Health Research Institute of McGill University, CA
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Abstract

This study investigated the interactive effects of proximal and distal environmental influences on child temperament. Specifically, the relation between mothers' own early familial experiences, mother-child attachment security, and child temperament was examined. Sixty mothers completed a semi-structured interview pertaining to their childhood attachment experiences with their own parents when children were aged 6 months, and completed a questionnaire on their children's temperament at 2 years. Mother-child attachment security was also rated at 2 years. Children whose mothers received higher scores of early adverse caregiving experiences displayed poorer temperamental activity level outcomes only when they also showed high concomitant levels of attachment security. The results suggest the transgenerational effect of maternal early life experiences on temperamental characteristics in the offspring, describing a pathway that might contribute to the familial transmission of risk stemming from the early caregiving environment.
How to Cite: Bouvette-Turcot, A.-A., Bernier, A. & Meaney, M., (2013). Intergenerational Transmission of Psychosocial Risk: Maternal Childhood Adversity, Mother-Child Attachment, and Child Temperament. Psychologica Belgica. 53(3), pp.65–83. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/pb-53-3-65
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Published on 01 Jul 2013.
Peer Reviewed

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