Attachment theory proposes that maternal sensitivity is the main developmental determinant of Organized attachment relationships (Ainsworth Blehar, Waters & Wall, 1978; DeWolff & van IJzendoorn, 1997); In contrast, Disorganized attachment relationships are held to be the product of frightened, frightening or atypical maternal behaviour (Lyons-Ruth, Bronfman, & Parson, 1999; Main & Hesse, 1990).
However, recent research has identified associations between low levels of maternal sensitivity and Disorganized attachment in high-risk populations (Bernier & Meins, 2008; Moran, Forbes, Evans, Tarabulsy, & Madigan, 2008; van IJzendoorn, Scheungel & Bakermans-Kranenburg, 1999); This raises the possibility that maternal sensitivity may contribute to the development of Disorganized attachment relationships in high-risk groups.
Such findings have yet to be replicated in low-risk samples, perhaps suggesting the association between maternal interactive behaviour and the development of Disorganized attachment may differ between high-risk and low-risk populations.
To better understand differences in the origins of Disorganized relationships between high-risk and low- risk groups, it has been suggested that assessing various aspects of maternal interaction, in addition to overall sensitivity, may be beneficial (Moran et al., 2008).
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/gregmoran/97/