Laying the Groundwork for Social and Emotional Development: Prenatal Attachment, Childbirth Experiences, and Neonatal Attachment

  • Tiffany N. Spierling
  • Lucia Ciciolla
  • Stacy Tiemeyer
  • Karina M. ShrefflerEmail author


Attachment to caregivers plays a critical role in the social and emotional development of children. The foundation of the caregiver-infant relationship begins before birth and continues to develop after birth. There are both threats to prenatal and neonatal attachment and factors that promote early bonding and social and emotional development during this time. This chapter focuses on the early relationships between infants and caregivers and is divided into three sections reflecting distinct periods (prenatal, childbirth, and postnatal). Descriptions of social and emotional development and attachment, contextual influences, and assessments are highlighted in each section.


Pregnancy Prenatal Attachment Assessment Maternal-Fetal Bonding Birth Postnatal Infant 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tiffany N. Spierling
    • 1
  • Lucia Ciciolla
    • 2
  • Stacy Tiemeyer
    • 1
  • Karina M. Shreffler
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Human Development and Family ScienceOklahoma State UniversityStillwaterUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyOklahoma State UniversityStillwaterUSA

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