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ABSTRACT:The relationship established between the infant and the caregiver is central to both parents and infants, and provides one of the mostimportant environments in wich children develop. This study aimed to assess the effect of infant’s psychophysiological functioning early in life onthe quality of mother–infant interaction and on later attachment, and to explore the mediation effects of the quality of mother–infant interaction onthe association between the infant’s psychophysiological functioning and attachment security. A longitudinal prospective design was conducted with94 infants and their mothers. Eight-week-old infants were assessed with the Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale (T.B. Brazelton & J.K. Nugent,1995) and the Alarm Distress Baby Scale (A. Guedeney & J. Fermanian, 2001). At 8 to 12 weeks of age, cortisol levels were measured both beforeand after routine inoculation. Mother–infant interaction was evaluated at 12 to 16 weeks, using the Global Rating Scales (L. Murray, A. Fiori-Cowley,R. Hooper, & P. Cooper, 1996). The Strange Situation procedure (M. Ainsworth, M. Blehar, E. Waters, & S. Wall, 1978) was performed at 12 months.The overall quality of mother–infant interaction mediates the relation between infant’s behavioral and physiological profile and infant attachment: Theprobability of been securely attached increased with good mother behavior and with good overall interaction. The co-construction of the mother–infantrelationship depends on the infant characteristics and on patterns of interaction
Expert’s note: This study links attachment, neurophysiological reactivity, relational withdrawal of the child, quality of parent/child interactions and attachment organization. It shows that if the role of the parent in the interactions is important, what the baby brings to the interaction according to his temperament also plays a role. It is also an additional study that confirms the strength of the ADBB in the clinic to detect more easily than all the tools of evaluation of interactions such as the CARE-INDEX or the CIB, or of evaluation of attachment (Q-Sort or strange situation which is moreover very difficult to use in clinics), the disorders of the early relationship that organize an insecure and/or disorganized attachment profile. Furthermore, the use of a salivary cortisol measurement allows us to make the link with the notion of stress and the neurophysiological functioning of the baby, the organization of the capacity to regulate its internal states and therefore the emotions.