The main aim of this study was to investigate the correlates of a Hostile-Helpless (HH) state of mind among 67 women belonging to a community sample and two different at-risk samples matched on socio-economic indicators, including 20 women from low-SES population (poverty sample) and 15 women at risk for maltreatment being monitored by the social services for the protection of juveniles (maltreatment risk sample). The Adult Attachment Interview (AAI) protocols were reliably coded blind to the samples' group status. The rates of HH classification increased in relation to the risk status of the three samples, ranging from 9% for the low-risk sample to 60% for the maltreatment risk sample to 75% for mothers in the maltreatment risk sample who actually maltreated their infants. In terms of the traditional AAI classification system, 88% of the interviews from the maltreating mothers were classified Unresolved/Cannot Classify (38%) or Preoccupied (50%). Partial overlapping between the 2 AAI coding systems was found, and discussion concerns the relevant contributions of each AAI coding system to understanding of the intergenerational transmission of maltreatment.
- Adult Attachment Interview
- Hostile-Helpless state of mind
- unresolved state of mind
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health
- Developmental and Educational Psychology