Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Derscheid, Linda E.

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Human and Family Resources


Mother and infant; Child care; Families


Prior research on the mother-infant attachment relationship for infants in day care has studied the effects of (a) time spent in nonmaternal care, (b) age of entry into nonmaternal care, (c) the gender of the infant, and (d) the quality of nonmaternal care received by the infant. No study has investigated the differences that different family environment characteristics or birth order can produce in an infant's attachment status. This study examined maternal ratings of the following characteristics of the family environment: (a) conflict, (b) independence, (c) cohesion, (d) expressivenss, (e) achievement orientation, (f) intellectual- cultural orientation, (g) active-recreational orientation, (h) moral-religious emphasis, (i) organization, and (j) control. Also, the demographic variables of gender and birth order were studied for the differences they may produce regarding an infant's attachment status. Results of this study indicate that when day care factors are controlled, families of insecurely attached infants had significantly higher levels of conflict in their environment than the families of securely attached infants. Families with more children had higher levels of conflict, and were more likely to have an insecurely attached infant than families with one child. The study also found that 83% of the insecurely attached infants were male. Families with securely attached infants and families with insecurely attached infants did not differ significantly any other of the family environment variables.


Includes bibliographical references (pages 64-68)


vii, 82 pages




Northern Illinois University

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