The parent-infant attachment of 36 mothers with and without a handicapped infant was compared. A prospective, longitudinal design was employed with data collection at 1, 6, and 12 months postpartum. There were significant differences in attachment at 1 month, with mothers of handicapped infants exhibiting fewer attachment behaviors; there were no differences at 6 or 12 months. When the effects of the mother’s prenatal social support were partialed out, there were no longer significant differences between the two groups, suggesting that social support buffers the effects of having a handicapped infant on attachment.
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