Mother’s perception of motives underlaying children’s behavior in attachment situations



  Introduction: Quality of child and caregiver relationship is a basic concept in association with child development influencing factors. As mother’s positive response to child is one of the important factors in forming safe attachment, mother’s perception of child’s motives is of great importance. The purpose of this study was to evaluate Iranian mothers’ perception of motives underlying their children’s behavior in attachment situations and their view about proper response to these behaviors, and also cultural comparison of this phenomenon.   Method: This qualitative descriptive study was performed on 30 Iranian mothers who had 3-5 years old children, selected randomly from 3 of Tehran’s nursery schools in 2009. Five situations were described for research units, and they were asked to tell the reason of the child’s behavior and the proper response from their point of view. Data was analyzed using qualitative method.   Results: There was relationship between mothers’ perception of children’s motives and their proper response. In nap time situation safety and interdependence was of more attention than other situations and this situation received more positive response. The cultural comparison showed more similarity between perception of Iranian and Japanese mothers and they paid more attention to safety and interdependence than American mothers.   Conclusion: Behaviors more attributed to seeking safety and interdependence receive more positive responses from mothers. Based on cultural values and beliefs, there are differences in mother’s perception of child’s motives and responses to child’s behaviors.