Maternal mind-mindedness

stability across relationships and associations with attachment style and psychological mindedness

Sharon Hill, Catherine McMahon*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)


This paper explores the concordance of mind-mindedness across descriptions of different people and construct validity by examining associations between mind-mindedness and psychological mindedness. Mothers of preschoolers (N = 103) completed online questionnaires assessing attachment style, psychological mindedness and mind-mindedness via three written descriptions (child, partner/close friend and a famous person), which were used to derive two scores (frequency and proportional) for mental state descriptors. Frequency scores for mind-minded comments were significantly correlated for child and partner descriptions. Famous person scores (frequency and proportional) were significantly lower than child and partner scores, further supporting specificity to relationship closeness. Mind-mindedness scores (frequency and proportional) were positively related to an interest in the psychological processes of oneself and others (psychological mindedness) but not associated with attachment style. This study supports the proposition that mind-mindedness is an orientation to mental states particular to close relationships and that mind-mindedness is linked to a broader capacity for self-awareness (psychological mindedness).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)391-405
Number of pages15
JournalInfant and Child Development
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2016


  • mind-mindedness
  • psychological mindedness
  • attachment style
  • mentalizing

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Maternal mind-mindedness: stability across relationships and associations with attachment style and psychological mindedness'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this