Singing play songs and lullabies: Investigating the subjective contributions to maternal attachment constructs

Singing play songs and lullabies: Investigating the subjective contributions to maternal attachment constructs

Abstract

The aim of this study was to examine how the experience of singing play songs and lullabies contributes to early mother-infant attachment. A total of twenty-three healthy mother-infant dyads were recruited. Twelve were interviewed about their subjective experience of singing interactions. Eleven were interviewed about their subjective experience of non-singing play interactions. The interviews were transcribed and analysed using an adapted phenomenologically inspired analysis process (Grocke, 1999) then compared to Condon and Corkindale's (1998) four maternal attachment constructs or domains including: (1) pleasure in proximity, (2) tolerance/acceptance, (3) need gratification and protection, and (4) knowledge acquisition. The findings reveal that the mothers' experience of singing interactions primarily impacted the pleasure in proximity, need gratification and tolerance/acceptance constructs. The mothers' experience of non-singing interactions primarily impacted the pleasure in proximity, need gratification and knowledge acquisition constructs. The experience of singing was distinctly different from the experience of non-singing interactions in multiple ways. The findings reveal that singing facilitated a flow of interconnections between positive mental and emotional states. Furthermore, it appears that the therapeutic potential of singing to impact attachment lies within the positivity and flow of the mothers' intrinsic experience of singing. Overall, the findings expand current understanding of how singing play songs and lullabies may contribute positively to maternal constructs of attachment in the first year of life.

 

Keywords: Singing, play songs, lullabies, mother-infant attachment, attachment constructs


Citation

Creighton, A. L., Atherton, M., & Kitamura, C. (2013). Singing play songs and lullabies: Investigating the subjective contributions to maternal attachment constructs. Australian Journal of Music Therapy, 24, 17-44.


Download PDF
Date published: July 2013