Major Department



College of Liberal Arts & Sciences


BS (Bachelor of Science)

Session and Year of Graduation

Spring 2018

Honors Major Advisor

J. Toby Mordkoff

Thesis Mentor

Grazyna Kochanska


Because of the critical importance of the child’s early attachment security with the parents for future social-emotional development, research on factors that contribute to emerging security continues to flourish. Very few studies, however, have included mothers and fathers, and little is known about possible differences in determinants of security with each parent. We examined parental depression and mind-mindedness (MM) as predictors of children’s attachment security with their mothers and fathers in a community sample of 102 families, followed longitudinally. When children were 7 months, mothers and fathers completed the Beck Depression Inventory and their MM was assessed by coding their spontaneous comments to the infant during a naturalistic situation (a snack). Comments referring to the child’s internal states were classified as MM. When children were 25 months, trained observers assessed the child’s security with each parent by completing the Attachment Q-Set (AQS), based on observations of lengthy interactions. For mother-child dyads, maternal depression, but not MM comments, predicted children’s attachment security, whereas for father-child dyads, fathers’ MM comments, but not depression scores, predicted security. The findings highlight potential differences in predictors of security emerging in mother- and father-child dyads.


Mind-mindedess, depression, attachment security, longitudinal studies

Total Pages

19 pages


Copyright © 2018 Adrienne Jensen