Attachment refers to a strong emotional bond with special people in a person?s life, in whose presence the person experiences pleasure, joy and comfort in times of stress. The first attachment in life is commonly formed between an infant and primary caregiver, which is usually the mother. The caregiving provided by the mother or caregiver will determine whether a secure or insecure attachment pattern is formed. Attachment theory indicates that this first attachment forms the basis for a cognitive representation, the so-called internal working model, which becomes part of the person?s personality and forms the foundation of the person?s perception of the self and the world as well as of all future interpersonal relationships.
As infancy is a sensitive period for the development of attachment, the prenatal period could be an appropriate time to educate expecting mothers about the importance of secure attachment and their role in the development thereof. The researcher therefore wished to explore whether antenatal programmes could be used as a platform for teaching expecting mothers about attachment. As a starting point, the goal of this study was to explore the perceptions of antenatal programme presenters on including training on attachment into antenatal programmes.
The study was based on a qualitative research approach, and applied research as the type of research. A collective case study research design was adopted and data was collected by means of semi-structured interviews that were conducted with a sample of ten presenters of antenatal programmes in the Tshwane district. The participants were selected by means of purposive sampling. Data was analysed according to methods for qualitative data analysis, and relevant ethical considerations were followed during the study.
The research findings indicate that the participants were aware of the importance and benefits of secure attachment and that they had a positive attitude towards the inclusion of training on attachment into antenatal programmes. They were eager to receive training on attachment and to adapt their programmes to include training on attachment.
The researcher concludes that it would be feasible and beneficial to include training on attachment into antenatal programmes, and to train antenatal programme presenters for this purpose. The provision of training on attachment to nurses and raising awareness of attachment in the private and public health care sectors could facilitate greater knowledge of attachment for expecting mothers. Further research in diverse settings, such as in private and public clinics and hospitals in different geographical areas, is recommended.
Mini Dissertation (MA)--University of Pretoria, 2017.