Attachment and Infant Night Waking: A Longitudinal Study From Birth Through the First Year of Life
Number of pages
SourceJournal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, 32, 9, (2011), pp. 635-643
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI ON
Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics
Objective: Night wakings are common in infancy. Although a link between infant night wakings and attachment to the primary caregiver has been previously proposed, empirical support is limited so far. The aim of this longitudinal study was to examine the early history of night waking in infants who were later classified as securely or insecurely (avoidantly, resistantly, or disorganized) attached. Methods: Participants in the study were 193 infants and their mothers. Information on infant night wakings was collected with the use of daily sleep diaries for the first 6 months of life and again for 2 weeks at 12 months of age. Infant-mother attachment was assessed using the Strange Situation (Ainsworth et al, Patterns of Attachment: A Psychological Study of the Strange Situation. New York: Hillsdale; 1978) when the infants were 12 months of age. Results: Longitudinal regression analyses showed that, after controlling for many covariates, infants with an insecure-resistant attachment at 12 months of age awoke more during the night in their first 6 months of life than the other infants. Furthermore, infants with different attachment classifications developed different patterns of night wakings over the first 6 months, with the insecure-avoidant infants waking the least toward the end of the 6 months. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses showed no associations between attachment and night wakings at 12 months of age. Conclusion: This study is the first in showing that attachment at 12 months of age is related to infant night waking patterns in the first 6 months of life. Patterns of infant night wakings early in life apparently reflect the emerging attachment relationship.
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