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Psicologia: Reflexão e Crítica
On-line version ISSN 1678-7153
RIBAS, Adriana F. Paes and SEIDL DE MOURA, Maria Lucia. Maternal responsiveness and attachment theory: a critical discussion of the role of cross-cultural studies. Psicol. Reflex. Crit. [online]. 2004, vol.17, n.3, pp. 315-322. ISSN 1678-7153. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-79722004000300004.
Maternal responsiveness has been considered as an important concept for the understanding of different aspects of infant development, and this concept has been articulated with attachment theory. The objective of this article is to discuss critically the role of transcultural studies about maternal responsiveness, based on attachment theory, and to review of the recent literature about this subject. Considering attachment a valuable theoretical basis for investigations on mother-infant interactions and maternal responsiveness, the conclusions basically point to three issues: 1) the attachment theory needs to be investigated in different socio-cultural contexts, to be tested in its limits and to receive a transcultural validation; 2) research on maternal responsiveness should take into account the discussion on attachment theory and cultural differences; 3) the inclusion of the study of maternal responsiveness in a theoretical framework that takes into account socio-cultural variables is necessary.
Keywords : Maternal responsiveness; maternal sensitivity; attachment; mother-infant interaction.