Effects of early and extended postpartum contact and paraprofessional home visits on maternal attachment, reports of child abuse and neglect, and health care utilization were determined by random assignment of 321 low-income women to intervention or control groups immediately after delivery. Observations of maternal attachment were made at four months and 12 months. Hospital, health and welfare agency records, and interviews were used to determine reports of child abuse and neglect and health care utilization. After establishing a control for maternal background variables, early and extended contact explained statistically significant but small amounts of variance in several of the attachment measures. There were no statistically significant effects of the home visit interventions on maternal attachment, and neither intervention was related to reports of child abuse and neglect and health care utilization. Although the study supported earlier findings that early and extended contact has a significant effect, additional interventions are needed to support mother-infant attachment.
- Received September 19, 1979.
- Accepted November 12, 1979.
- Copyright © 1980 by the American Academy of Pediatrics