By the twenty-first century, most infants in the United States experienced some form of child care in their first year of life. This represented an enormous shift in how children in the United States were raised, a shift that led to concerns about whether infant child care disrupts mother-child attachment. Some have argued that infants experience daily separations as maternal rejection, which should lead to avoidance, while others have suggested that separations prevent mothers from having sufficient opportunities to develop sensitive caregiving styles. The results of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Study of Early Child Care, a study of more than 1,000 infants and their mothers, clearly demonstrated that neither security nor avoidance in the Strange Situation was associated with type of care, amount of care, or quality of care. Instead, security was associated with characteristics of mothering, such as sensitivity. Infants who experienced dual risks, for example poor quality child care and insensitive mothering, were at increased risk for developing insecure attachments. Thus, the effects of child care on attachment depend primarily on the nature of ongoing interactions between mothers and children.
Was this article helpful?
Parenting is a challenging task. As a single parent, how can you juggle work, parenting, and possibly college studies single handedly and still manage to be an ideal parent for your child? Read the 65-page eBook Single Parenting Becoming The Best Parent For Your Child to find out how. Loaded with tips, it can inspire, empower, and instruct you to successfully face the challenges of parenthood.