Antenatal Attachment, Adult Attachment and Gender: a Study of French Couples
1University of Lorraine
2University Paris Descartes, Metz, France
3Centre Hospitalier Régional Universitaire de Nancy, Prenatal Diagnosis and Neonatal Department, Nancy, France
During pregnancy expectant parents develop an attachment relation with their unborn child (Condon, 1993). The aim of our study was to compare the influence of Adult Attachment dimensions and Gender on Antenatal Attachment. 76 participants completed questionnaires on their 3rd trimester of pregnancy: ECR (Experiences in Close Relationships-Adult Attachment: Brennan et al.,1998) and MAAS/PAAS (Maternal/Paternal Antenatal Attachment: Condon, 1993). In our study, expectant parents presented good levels of parental-foetal attachment (M=57.07; SD=8.27; min=30; max=70). Linear regression showed that gender had an important effect on antenatal attachment (?=.58, p=.001). Avoidance of intimacy dimension-ECR was also relevant for antenatal attachment (?=-.35, p=.001). This result was significant for both expectant fathers (?=-.42, p=.012) and mothers (?=-.47, p=.004). Anxiety of abandonment dimension-ECR had no effect on Antenatal Attachment. Our results showed adult attachment had an important impact in the way expectant parents related to their unborn child. Understanding factors underlying Antenatal Attachment would allow preventing perinatal negative outcomes and promoting family health.