This study investigated antecedents of early triadic family interaction patterns characterized by boundary disturbances between parents and their toddlers. Parents' memories of involving/role-reversed experiences with their own parents, and parents' current representations of attachment relationships, were assessed when they were expecting their first child, and their care giving interactions were assessed when their infant was 8 months old. Two types of boundary disturbance patterns were identified from triadic interactions observed when children were 24 months old: enmeshed, in which a parent uses guilt-inducing, coy or helpless behavior to 'pull in' the child to meet his or her needs, and controlling, in which a parent uses more power-assertive tactics. Results indicated that enmeshed boundary disturbances were predicted primarily by fathers' memories of having involving, role-reversed relationships with their own mothers, and by fathers' hostile and role-reversed infant caregiving patterns. In contrast, controlling boundary disturbances were predicted primary by mothers' current mental representations of attachment. Implications of these data for understanding different pathways to family boundary disturbances were discussed.
|Number of pages||26|
|Journal||Journal of Emotional Abuse|
|Publication status||Published - 2005|