Attachment, culture, and the caregiving system: The cultural patterning of everyday experiences among Anglo and Puerto Rican mother-infant pairs

Date of Completion

January 2000


Psychology, Social|Psychology, Developmental|Sociology, Individual and Family Studies|Sociology, Ethnic and Racial Studies




This investigation focuses on cultural differences in the relationship between maternal sensitivity, emotional expression and control strategies during the first year of life and infant attachment outcomes at 12 months. Participants were middle-class Puerto Rican and Anglo mother-infant pairs (N = 60). Ratings of physical control, emotional expression, and maternal sensitivity during mother-infant interactions in five everyday home settings, videotaped when the infants were 4, 8, and 12 months old, were examined in combination with 12-month Strange Situation classifications. Results suggest that physical control shows a different pattern of relatedness to maternal sensitivity, emotional expression, and attachment outcomes among Puerto Rican as compared to Anglo mothers. These findings have implications for practitioners and researchers interested in normative parenting among diverse cultural groups. ^