Publication Date

1979

Document Type

Dissertation/Thesis

First Advisor

Chibucos, Thomas R.

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Department

Department of Home Economics

LCSH

Father and child||Infant psychology

Abstract

A longitudinal design was used 1) to determine whether there is a significant relationship between early (2 months) quality of father-infant interaction and later (7-1/2 months) quality of attachment, and 2) to examine the stability of quality of interaction between fathers and infants. The subjects were 19 infants (12 boys and 7 girls) and their fathers who took part in two observation sessions. The first session, when the infant was two months old, consisted of a 15 minute observation of father-infant interaction. The second session, when the infant was seven and one-half months old, consisted of a 15 minute observation session of father-infant interaction and a 4 minute observation of father-infant attachment. All observations took place in a laboratory. Quality of interaction was determined in two ways: 1) ratings of interaction in terms of sensitivity of father, playfulness of father, initiation of father-infant interaction by father, intensity of infant's response to father, and quality of interaction between father and infant; and 2) the amount of touching, face-to-face looking, and vocalizing between the father and the infant during each session. Quality of attachment was determined by using a modification of the Ainsworth scoring system for interactive behaviors. Following a 2-minute separation the infant-father dyad was rated on: 1) proximity and contactseeking behavior, 2) contact-maintaining behavior, 3) contact and interaction-resisting behavior, 4) proximity and interaction-avoiding behavior. The father-infant dyads were then ranked according to the infant's degree of security of attachment. Pearson product-moment correlation coefficients were calculated using the attachment and interaction scores. The results partially supported the hypothesis that quality of father-infant interaction at two months was correlated significantly with the quality of father-infant attachment at seven and one-half months. Also, there was evidence for the consistency between quality of father-infant interaction at two months and at seven and one-half months. The study was also successful in giving researchers a reliable, observational method to study quality of developing relationships between infants and fathers. Finally, the present study examined the process of development of father-infant attachment by assessing the relationship between early interactive behaviors and later attachment behaviors. Future studies should involve a more in-depth look at developing father-infant social processes by using multiple assessments of behaviors at several time periods prior to attachment formation.

Extent

vi, 66 pages

Language

eng

Publisher

Northern Illinois University

Rights Statement

In Copyright

Rights Statement 2

NIU theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from Huskie Commons for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without the written permission of the authors.

Media Type

Text

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