Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work


Lyle S. Hallman Faculty of Social Work

First Advisor

Alison Niccols

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


Despite the importance of early parent-child attachment and maternal depression to child development and the vulnerability of children with developmental delay, maternal attachment representations and their relation to depression have not been studied in this population. In this study, I examined attachment representations (i.e., internal working models) in 47 mothers of 4- to 8-year-old children with developmental delay and explored the relation between these attachment representations and maternal depression assessed concurrently and again one and two years later. The Working Model of the Child Interview (WMCI) was used to classify representations as balanced (i.e., secure) or non-balanced (i.e., disengaged or distorted) and the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression (CES-D) Scale was used to assess maternal depression. Because both insecure attachment and maternal depression are associated with negative outcomes, the findings highlight the need for prevention and intervention strategies aimed at fostering secure attachment and alleviating depression.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season