ERIC Number: ED423017
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996-Apr-20
Reference Count: N/A
Infant Child Care and Attachment Security: Results of the NICHD Study of Early Child Care.
National Inst. of Child Health and Human Development (NIH), Bethesda, MD. Early Child Care Network.
A longitudinal study explored the effects of different aspects of child care on infants' attachment security. Child care variables examined included age of entry; the quality, amount, stability, and type of care; and mother's sensitivity to the child's needs. When the validity of the Strange Situation was tested by comparing children with low and high amounts of child care outside the home, it was determined that infants distress during mothers' absence in the Strange Situation was not significantly different between the two groups, indicating that the Strange Situation was equally valid for both groups. Other results indicated that non-maternal child care by itself does not constitute a threat to the security of the infant-mother attachment, nor does it foster secure attachment. Instead, there was consistent evidence that poor quality, unstable or more than minimal amounts of child care added to the risks already inherent in maternal insensitivity. The combined effects of these child care variables and maternal insensitivity were worse than those of maternal insensitivity alone. Results suggest that the effects of child care on attachment, and the nature of the attachment relationship itself, depend on the nature of ongoing interactions between mother and child. (JPB)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Inst. of Child Health and Human Development (NIH), Bethesda, MD. Early Child Care Network.