Links between risk and attachment security: Models of influence

H. Abigail Raikes, Ross A. Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


The relation between maternal behavior and child attachment security is weaker among low SES samples, but it is unclear how stressors/risks associated with low SES alter the dynamics of attachment relationships. Results of this study of 63 low income mothers and their 24-36-month-old children indicated that the influence of multiple economic risks on children's security is mediated through an associated effect on maternal behavior, while emotional risks-those directly affecting the emotional climate of the home-exert direct influences on child security not mediated by maternal behavior. A moderating effect of emotional risks on the relation between maternal behavior and child security suggested that maternal behavior is less strongly associated with child security in families with many emotional risks. Implications of emotional risks as predictors of child security and the characteristics of low-income homes that moderate the association between security and maternal behavior are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)440-455
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Applied Developmental Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2005


  • At-risk populations
  • Attachment
  • Maternal behavior
  • Poverty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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