Background: Maternal–Fetal Attachment (MFA) describes the cognitive-representational, emotional, and behavioral aspects of the mother–fetus relationship that develops during pregnancy. We present two studies conducted on pregnant Italian women. In Study I, we aimed to explore multifaceted associations of MFA with variables important for a healthy pregnancy (e.g., maternal mental health, the couple’s relationship). In Study II, we investigated the predictive role of MFA on observed maternal caregiving during the first months of the infant’s life. Methods: In Study I, 113 pregnant Italian women were assessed on MFA (Maternal Antenatal Attachment Scale, MAAS), maternal depression (Beck Depression Inventory-II, BDI-II), maternal anxiety (State Trait Anxiety Inventory – State version, STAI), adjustment of the couple (Dyadic Adjustment Scale, DAS), and perceived parental care (The Parental Bonding Instrument, PBI). In Study II, 29 mother–infant pairs were followed up at 4 months to assess observational variables of maternal caregiving through the Emotional Availability Scale (EAS) and to test for an association with MFA in pregnancy. Results: Study I showed a significant association between MFA and the quality of the couple relationship (β =.49, P <.001) and between MFA and the recall of memories of care received in childhood (β =.22, P =.025). Study II showed a predictive effect of MFA on maternal structuring observed during mother–infant interactions at 4 months of age (β = 0.36, P =.046). Conclusion: The study points out relevant relationship contexts that might receive care and support throughout pregnancy to protect MFA. The findings also provide thoughtful insights on the role of MFA in early maternal caregiving, suggesting that MFA might be a candidate as one putative antecedent of mother–infant interaction processes.

Maternal–fetal attachment in pregnant Italian women: multidimensional influences and the association with maternal caregiving in the infant’s first year of life

Sacchi C.
;
Miscioscia M.;Visentin S.;Simonelli A.
2021

Abstract

Background: Maternal–Fetal Attachment (MFA) describes the cognitive-representational, emotional, and behavioral aspects of the mother–fetus relationship that develops during pregnancy. We present two studies conducted on pregnant Italian women. In Study I, we aimed to explore multifaceted associations of MFA with variables important for a healthy pregnancy (e.g., maternal mental health, the couple’s relationship). In Study II, we investigated the predictive role of MFA on observed maternal caregiving during the first months of the infant’s life. Methods: In Study I, 113 pregnant Italian women were assessed on MFA (Maternal Antenatal Attachment Scale, MAAS), maternal depression (Beck Depression Inventory-II, BDI-II), maternal anxiety (State Trait Anxiety Inventory – State version, STAI), adjustment of the couple (Dyadic Adjustment Scale, DAS), and perceived parental care (The Parental Bonding Instrument, PBI). In Study II, 29 mother–infant pairs were followed up at 4 months to assess observational variables of maternal caregiving through the Emotional Availability Scale (EAS) and to test for an association with MFA in pregnancy. Results: Study I showed a significant association between MFA and the quality of the couple relationship (β =.49, P <.001) and between MFA and the recall of memories of care received in childhood (β =.22, P =.025). Study II showed a predictive effect of MFA on maternal structuring observed during mother–infant interactions at 4 months of age (β = 0.36, P =.046). Conclusion: The study points out relevant relationship contexts that might receive care and support throughout pregnancy to protect MFA. The findings also provide thoughtful insights on the role of MFA in early maternal caregiving, suggesting that MFA might be a candidate as one putative antecedent of mother–infant interaction processes.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11577/3401260
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