The association between maternal resolution of the diagnosis of autism, maternal mental representations of the relationship with the child, and children's attachment

Flavia Lecciso, Serena Petrocchi, Federica Savazzi, Antonella Marchetti, Maria Nobile, Massimo Molteni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Mothers who were classified as resolved showed higher levels of secure base, own and other perspective-taking, and lower level of neutralization than mothers classified as unresolved. Mothers with a higher level of neutralization, compared with mothers with a lower level of neutralization, had children with a higher level of avoidance. The study analyzed the associations between the maternal resolution state of mind of the child's diagnosis, maternal mental representations of the relation with the child, and children's attachment. The associations made between the maternal resolution state of mind and some mothers' and children's variables were also analyzed. The participants were 21 children with high functioning autism or Asperger syndrome (Mage = 7 years 9 months; SD = 2 years 4 months) and their mothers (Mage = 41 years 2 months; SD = 4 years 7 months). Maternal resolution status was associated with the type of diagnosis and mothers' age. Mothers who were classified as 'resolved', showed higher levels of secure base, their own and other perspective-taking, and a lower level of neutralization, than mothers classified as 'unresolved'. Mothers with a higher level of neutralization, compared with mothers with a lower level of neutralization, had children with a higher level of avoidance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-38
Number of pages18
JournalLife Span and Disability
Volume16
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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Keywords

  • Attachment
  • Autism
  • Diagnosis
  • Maternal mental representation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Life-span and Life-course Studies
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Health(social science)

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