Attachment, Depression, and Cortisol: Deviant Patterns in Insecure-Resistant and Disorganized Infants

Maartje P. C. M. Luijk, Nathalie Saridjan, Anne Tharner, Marinus H. van Ijzendoorn, Marian J. Bakermans-Kranenburg, Vincent W. V. Jaddoe, Albert Hofman, Frank C. Verhulst, Henning Tiemeier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

102 Citations (Scopus)


Both attachment insecurity and maternal depression are thought to affect infants emotional and physiological regulation. In the current study, Strange Situation Procedure (SSP) attachment classifications, and cortisol stress reactivity and diurnal rhythm were assessed at 14 months in a prospective cohort study of 369 mother-infant dyads. Maternal lifetime depression was diagnosed prenatally using the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDD. Insecure-resistant infants showed the largest increase in cortisol levels from pre- to post-SSP: the effect was even stronger when they had depressive mothers. Disorganized children showed a more flattened diurnal cortisol pattern compared to non-disorganized children. Findings are discussed from the perspective of a cumulative risk model. (C) 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Dev Psychobiol 52: 441-452, 2010.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)441-452
Number of pages12
JournalDevelopmental Psychobiology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2010

Research programs

  • EMC MM-04-54-08-A
  • EMC NIHES-01-64-01
  • EMC NIHES-04-55-01


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