Mental representations of disorganized attachment: a pilot study with abusive mothers - Objective: this study focuses on the investigation of disorganized attachment in a group of maltreating mothers in order to identify potential risk factors of abusive parenting. Method: A sample of 10 "maltreating" mothers and a control group matched by age and socio-economic status were recruited. Mothers’ attachment mental representations were assessed using the Adult Attachment Interview (AAI). The AAIs were coded by two different coding systems (i.e. Main et al. and Lyons-Ruth et al. systems) in order to fully investigate the disorganization of maternal states of mind. Results: Preliminary data show a significant percentage of disorganized attachment according to the new Hostile-Helpless classification system. Specifically, the hostile subtype was more frequent than other indicators of disorganization, thus showing potential implications related to abusive parenting.
Key words: Adult Attachment Interview, disorganization, maltreatment, parenting.
Parole chiave: Adult Attachment Interview, disorganizzazione, maltrattamento, genitorialità.