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Department of Psychology


Publication details for Professor Charles Fernyhough

Meins, E., Bureau, J.-F. & Fernyhough, C. (2017). Mother–child attachment from infancy to the preschool years: Predicting security and stability. Child Development

Author(s) from Durham


Relations between maternal mind-mindedness (appropriate and nonattuned mind-related comments), children's age-2 perspective-taking abilities, and attachment security at 44 (n = 165) and 51 (n = 128) months were investigated. Nonattuned comments predicted insecure preschool attachment, via insecure 15-month attachment security (44-month attachment) and poorer age-2 perspective-taking abilities (51-month attachment). With regard to attachment stability, higher perspective-taking abilities distinguished the stable secure groups from (a) the stable insecure groups and (b) children who changed from secure to insecure (at trend level). These effects were independent of child gender, stressful life events, and socioeconomic status (SES). The contribution of these findings to our understanding of stability and change in attachment security from infancy to the preschool years is discussed.