Maternal-Fetal Attachment (MFA) delineates the emotional, cognitive, and behavioral aspects that mothers develop toward the unborn baby during pregnancy. The literature indicates that optimal attachment in pregnancy represents a protective factor for the mother-child attachment bond after birth and child development outcomes. To date, there are few studies that have investigated associated factors of MFA. This study sets out to explore the association between perceived parental bonds and maternal-fetal bonding in pregnant women, accounting for factors such as psychological distress, socio-demographic and obstetric characteristics. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, 1,177 pregnant women answered the Parental Bonding Instrument, the Maternal-Fetal Attachment Scale, State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI-Y), and Beck-Depression Inventory (BDI-II). Results: We found out that perceived maternal and paternal care had significant direct effects on maternal-infant bonding during the pregnancy period when controlling for some confounders, including gestational age and mother age among others. Such maternal and paternal perceived care effects were not mediated by levels of psychological distress, which in turn resulted to be a “borderline” significant predictor of prenatal attachment. Interestingly, the gestational age and the mother age emerged to have a significant and synergic nonlinear effect, suggesting the influence on the MFAS of the gestational age depends on the values of the mother age, and likewise, the effect of mother age on MFAS depends on the gestational week. Conclusion: This study expands our knowledge of the intergenerational transmission of attachment pointing out the effects of a woman’s perceived bond in relation to her parental figures during the development of the prenatal attachment process. Findings also suggests that parenting support interventions may have benefits that are realized across generations.

The relationship between maternal-fetus attachment and perceived parental bonds in pregnant women: Considering a possible mediating role of psychological distress

Gioia, Maria C.;Cerasa, Antonio
;
Martino, Iolanda;Tenuta, Flaviana;Costabile, Angela;Craig, Francesco
2023-01-01

Abstract

Maternal-Fetal Attachment (MFA) delineates the emotional, cognitive, and behavioral aspects that mothers develop toward the unborn baby during pregnancy. The literature indicates that optimal attachment in pregnancy represents a protective factor for the mother-child attachment bond after birth and child development outcomes. To date, there are few studies that have investigated associated factors of MFA. This study sets out to explore the association between perceived parental bonds and maternal-fetal bonding in pregnant women, accounting for factors such as psychological distress, socio-demographic and obstetric characteristics. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, 1,177 pregnant women answered the Parental Bonding Instrument, the Maternal-Fetal Attachment Scale, State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI-Y), and Beck-Depression Inventory (BDI-II). Results: We found out that perceived maternal and paternal care had significant direct effects on maternal-infant bonding during the pregnancy period when controlling for some confounders, including gestational age and mother age among others. Such maternal and paternal perceived care effects were not mediated by levels of psychological distress, which in turn resulted to be a “borderline” significant predictor of prenatal attachment. Interestingly, the gestational age and the mother age emerged to have a significant and synergic nonlinear effect, suggesting the influence on the MFAS of the gestational age depends on the values of the mother age, and likewise, the effect of mother age on MFAS depends on the gestational week. Conclusion: This study expands our knowledge of the intergenerational transmission of attachment pointing out the effects of a woman’s perceived bond in relation to her parental figures during the development of the prenatal attachment process. Findings also suggests that parenting support interventions may have benefits that are realized across generations.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11770/342909
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