Maternal Sensitivity (maternal + sensitivity)

Distribution by Scientific Domains


Selected Abstracts


Differential Effects of Maternal Sensitivity to Infant Distress and Nondistress on Social-Emotional Functioning

CHILD DEVELOPMENT, Issue 3 2009
Esther M. Leerkes
Associations between maternal sensitivity to infant distress and nondistress and infant social-emotional adjustment were examined in a subset of dyads from the NICHD Study of Early Child Care (N = 376). Mothers reported on infant temperament at 1 and 6 months postpartum, and maternal sensitivity to distress and nondistress were observed at 6 months. Child behavior problems, social competence, and affect dysregulation were measured at 24 and 36 months. Maternal sensitivity to distress but not to nondistress was related to fewer behavioral problems and higher social competence. In addition, for temperamentally reactive infants, maternal sensitivity to distress was associated with less affect dysregulation. Sensitivity to nondistress only prevented affect dysregulation if sensitivity to distress was also high. [source]


Maternal sensitivity in interactions with three- and 12-month-old infants: Stability, structural composition, and developmental consequences

INFANT AND CHILD DEVELOPMENT, Issue 3 2004
Arnold Lohaus
This study addresses three topics related to the structural components of maternal sensitivity: (a) The stability of sensitivity over a nine-month period, (b) the predictability of maternal sensitivity assessed at 12 months from early parameters of parenting and (c) the relation between maternal sensitivity and developmental outcomes assessed at 12 months. Maternal sensitivity and its components (signal perception, correct interpretation, prompt, and appropriate reaction) were evaluated for 60 mother,infant-dyads when their infants were aged three and 12 months. Additional parameters of early parenting were maternal emotional warmth and behavioural contingency. Developmental outcome measures were the amount of infant crying and the quality of attachment at twelve months. The results showed close correlations between the sensitivity components suggesting a unidimensional structure for maternal sensitivity. The sensitivity assessments were significantly related to measures of maternal warmth. Stability of maternal sensitivity over time was, however, quite low. There was no relation between the early sensitivity assessments and later developmental outcomes, whereas there was a significant relation between the sensitivity parameters assessed at twelve months and developmental outcomes. The results indicate changes in the meaning of maternal sensitivity during infants' development. Copyright 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]


The influence of infant irritability on maternal sensitivity in a sample of very premature infants

INFANT AND CHILD DEVELOPMENT, Issue 2 2003
Petra Meier
Abstract The relationship between maternal sensitivity and infant irritability was investigated in a short-term longitudinal study of 29 very preterm infants. Infant irritability was assessed at term with the Brazelton NBAS, the Mother and Baby Scales (MABS) and the Crying Pattern Questionnaire (CPQ). Maternal sensitivity was assessed by nurses' ratings in the neonatal care unit and at three months during mother,infant interaction observation. Cross-lagged panel analysis indicated that neonatal irritability did not influence sensitivity at 3 months nor did maternal sensitivity in the newborn period lead to reduced irritability at 3 months. Both irritability and maternal sensitivity showed moderate stability over time (r = 0.55 and r = 0.60, respectively). It is concluded that in early infancy maternal sensitivity shows little influence on infant irritability in very preterm infants. Copyright 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]


Predicting toddler anxiety/depressive symptoms: Effects of caregiver sensitivity on temperamentally vulnerable children

INFANT MENTAL HEALTH JOURNAL, Issue 1 2005
Susan L. Warren
This research examines whether maternal sensitivity in early childhood reduces later anxiety/depressive symptoms for children with more temperamental vulnerability, and whether these effects are different for boys and girls. Data from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Early Child Care study with 1,226 subjects (631 boys, 595 girls) were analyzed. Mothers and other caregivers rated children's difficult temperament at 1 and 6 months. Trained observers scored maternal sensitivity when children were 6 and 15 months. Child anxiety/depressive symptoms were rated by mothers and other caregivers when children were 2 and 3 years of age. Maternal sensitivity in early childhood significantly predicted decreased 2- and 3-year-old anxiety/depressive symptoms. Children with more difficult temperament were significantly more likely to show decreased anxiety/depressive symptoms at 2 years of age if their mothers had been more sensitive. Maternal sensitivity also was a significant predictor of decreased anxiety/depressive symptoms for more temperamentally difficult boys, and temperamentally difficult boys with more sensitive mothers were found to be significantly more likely than girls to show decreased anxiety/depressive symptoms at 3 years of age. The findings of this pilot research suggest that facilitating and supporting increased sensitivity for mothers with more temperamentally difficult children could be beneficial. 2005 Michigan Association for Infant Mental Health. [source]


Maternal psychopathology and attachment in toddlers of heavy cocaine-using mothers

INFANT MENTAL HEALTH JOURNAL, Issue 3 2001
Michael Espinosa
The purpose of this study is to examine the relationships among maternal psychopathology, early sensitive caregiving, and security of attachment in a sample of cocaine-using women from environments with high contextual risks that include poverty, low educational attainment, minority status, and single parenthood. Thirty-five women and their offspring participated in the study. Maternal psychopathology, including Axis I and Axis II disorders, was assessed during the prenatal period via a self-report clinical measure. Maternal sensitivity was assessed at 1 month and 6 months postdelivery through rating scales. At 18 months postdelivery, toddlers' attachment to their mothers was assessed via the Strange Situation procedure. Also at 18 months, mothers' level of depression was assessed via a depression inventory. Maternal psychopathology during pregnancy was found to be associated with both early caregiving and attachment. Mothers demonstrating clinical levels of particular Axis II disorders provided less sensitive caregiving, and had toddlers who were more likely to be disorganized/disoriented in their attachments. For Axis I disorders, only clinical levels of prenatal dysthymia were found to be associated with a greater likelihood of secure attachment. 2001 Michigan Association for Infant Mental Health. [source]


Maternal mental health and faltering growth in infants

CHILD ABUSE REVIEW, Issue 5 2007
Laura Dunne
Abstract This study reports on the first phase of a large-scale, longitudinal, multidisciplinary community study examining the growth, learning and development of young children with a particular focus on failure to thrive without organic cause. However, the group identified in this study may be better described as weight faltering. This paper examines the psychological data collected using the Parenting Stress Index, Rosenberg Self-Esteem and the General Health Questionnaire in relation to child growth. There were no significant differences between the mothers of the weight faltering and control children in terms of parenting stress, maternal depression, maternal perceptions of their parenting competence or maternal self-esteem. Maternal sensitivity to comments about child size, regardless of direction, had a negative impact on mood. Copyright 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]


Differential Effects of Maternal Sensitivity to Infant Distress and Nondistress on Social-Emotional Functioning

CHILD DEVELOPMENT, Issue 3 2009
Esther M. Leerkes
Associations between maternal sensitivity to infant distress and nondistress and infant social-emotional adjustment were examined in a subset of dyads from the NICHD Study of Early Child Care (N = 376). Mothers reported on infant temperament at 1 and 6 months postpartum, and maternal sensitivity to distress and nondistress were observed at 6 months. Child behavior problems, social competence, and affect dysregulation were measured at 24 and 36 months. Maternal sensitivity to distress but not to nondistress was related to fewer behavioral problems and higher social competence. In addition, for temperamentally reactive infants, maternal sensitivity to distress was associated with less affect dysregulation. Sensitivity to nondistress only prevented affect dysregulation if sensitivity to distress was also high. [source]


Supporting insensitive mothers: the Vilnius randomized control trial of video-feedback intervention to promote maternal sensitivity and infant attachment security

CHILD: CARE, HEALTH AND DEVELOPMENT, Issue 5 2009
L. Kalinauskiene
Abstract Objective This randomized control trial examined the effects of a short-term, interaction-focused and attachment-based video-feedback intervention (VIPP: video-feedback intervention to promote positive parenting). Design VIPP effect on mothers' sensitive responsiveness and infant,mother attachment security was evaluated in a sample (n = 54) of low sensitive, non-clinical, middle class Lithuanian mothers. Methods Maternal sensitivity was assessed in a free play session with the Ainsworth's sensitivity scale, and attachment security was observed using the Attachment Q sort for home observations. Results We found that the intervention mothers indeed significantly improved their sensitive responsiveness through participation in our VIPP. The effect size was large according to Cohen's criteria, d = 0.78. VIPP enhanced maternal sensitive responsiveness even when maternal age, educational level, depression, daily hassles, efficacy, infant gender, and infant negative and positive affect were controlled for. However, attachment security in the VIPP infants was not enhanced after the intervention, compared with the control infants, and the infants did not seem to be differentially susceptible to the increase in maternal sensitivity dependent on their temperamental reactivity. Conclusion We suggest that a relatively brief and low-cost programme can provide effective support for mothers who lack sensitivity in the interactions with their infants. [source]


Maternal prenatal anxiety, postnatal caregiving and infants' cortisol responses to the still-face procedure

DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOBIOLOGY, Issue 8 2009
Kerry-Ann Grant
Abstract This study prospectively examined the separate and combined influences of maternal prenatal anxiety disorder and postnatal caregiving sensitivity on infants' salivary cortisol responses to the still-face procedure. Effects were assessed by measuring infant salivary cortisol upon arrival at the laboratory, and at 15-, 25-, and 40-min following the still-face procedure. Maternal symptoms of anxiety during the last 6 months of pregnancy were assessed using clinical diagnostic interview. Data analyses using linear mixed models were based on 88 women and their 7-month-old infants. Prenatal anxiety and maternal sensitivity emerged as independent, additive moderators of infant cortisol reactivity, F (3, 180),=,3.29, p,=,.02, F (3, 179),=,2.68, p,=,.05 respectively. Results were independent of maternal prenatal depression symptoms, and postnatal symptoms of anxiety and depression. Infants' stress-induced cortisol secretion patterns appear to relate not only to exposure to maternal prenatal anxiety, but also to maternal caregiving sensitivity, irrespective of prenatal psychological state. 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Dev Psychobiol 51: 625,637, 2009 [source]


Biological and environmental initial conditions shape the trajectories of cognitive and social-emotional development across the first years of life

DEVELOPMENTAL SCIENCE, Issue 1 2009
Ruth Feldman
Human development is thought to evolve from the dynamic interchange of biological dispositions and environmental provisions; yet the effects of specific biological and environmental birth conditions on the trajectories of cognitive and social-emotional growth have rarely been studied. We observed 126 children at six time-points from birth to 5 years. Intelligence, maternal sensitivity, and child social engagement were repeatedly tested. Effects of neonatal vagal tone (VT) and maternal postpartum depressive symptoms on growth-rates were assessed. Cognitive development showed a substantial growth-spurt between 2 and 5 years and social engagement increased rapidly across the first year and more gradually thereafter. VT improved cognitive and social-emotional growth-rates across the first year, whereas maternal depressive symptoms interfered with growth from 2 to 5 years. Differences between infants with none, one, or two non-optimal birth conditions increased with age. Findings shed light on the dynamics of early development as it is shaped by biological and environmental initial conditions. [source]


The Effect of Excessive Crying on the Development of Emotion Regulation

INFANCY, Issue 2 2002
Cynthia A. Stifter
The goal of this study was to examine the effect of excessive crying in early infancy on the development of emotion self-regulation. Cry diaries were used to categorize excessive criers and typical criers at 6 weeks of age. At 5 and 10 months of age, infants and mothers participated in procedures to elicit infant reactivity and regulation during a frustration task and maternal sensitivity and intrusiveness during a free-play session. Last, maternal ratings of temperament were obtained. Results revealed excessive criers to show higher levels of negative reactivity than typical criers. Excessive criers also demonstrated lower regulation, but this finding was only significant for male infants. Boys in the excessive criers group exhibited the lowest level of emotion self-regulation. Maternal behavior and ratings of temperament at 5 and 10 months failed to distinguish the 2 cry groups. The findings suggest that excessive crying may influence the developmental trajectory of the ability of boys to self-regulate emotion. The hypothesized processes involved in this outcome are discussed. [source]


Maternal sensitivity in interactions with three- and 12-month-old infants: Stability, structural composition, and developmental consequences

INFANT AND CHILD DEVELOPMENT, Issue 3 2004
Arnold Lohaus
This study addresses three topics related to the structural components of maternal sensitivity: (a) The stability of sensitivity over a nine-month period, (b) the predictability of maternal sensitivity assessed at 12 months from early parameters of parenting and (c) the relation between maternal sensitivity and developmental outcomes assessed at 12 months. Maternal sensitivity and its components (signal perception, correct interpretation, prompt, and appropriate reaction) were evaluated for 60 mother,infant-dyads when their infants were aged three and 12 months. Additional parameters of early parenting were maternal emotional warmth and behavioural contingency. Developmental outcome measures were the amount of infant crying and the quality of attachment at twelve months. The results showed close correlations between the sensitivity components suggesting a unidimensional structure for maternal sensitivity. The sensitivity assessments were significantly related to measures of maternal warmth. Stability of maternal sensitivity over time was, however, quite low. There was no relation between the early sensitivity assessments and later developmental outcomes, whereas there was a significant relation between the sensitivity parameters assessed at twelve months and developmental outcomes. The results indicate changes in the meaning of maternal sensitivity during infants' development. Copyright 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]


The influence of infant irritability on maternal sensitivity in a sample of very premature infants

INFANT AND CHILD DEVELOPMENT, Issue 2 2003
Petra Meier
Abstract The relationship between maternal sensitivity and infant irritability was investigated in a short-term longitudinal study of 29 very preterm infants. Infant irritability was assessed at term with the Brazelton NBAS, the Mother and Baby Scales (MABS) and the Crying Pattern Questionnaire (CPQ). Maternal sensitivity was assessed by nurses' ratings in the neonatal care unit and at three months during mother,infant interaction observation. Cross-lagged panel analysis indicated that neonatal irritability did not influence sensitivity at 3 months nor did maternal sensitivity in the newborn period lead to reduced irritability at 3 months. Both irritability and maternal sensitivity showed moderate stability over time (r = 0.55 and r = 0.60, respectively). It is concluded that in early infancy maternal sensitivity shows little influence on infant irritability in very preterm infants. Copyright 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]


Preventing preschool externalizing behavior problems through video-feedback intervention in infancy

INFANT MENTAL HEALTH JOURNAL, Issue 5 2006
Mariska Klein Velderman
In the present study (1) intervention effects on children's preschool behavior problems were evaluated in a high risk sample with an overrepresentation of insecure adult attachment representations in 77 first-time mothers, and (2) predictors and correlates of child problem behavior were examined. Early short-term video-feedback intervention to promote positive parenting (VIPP) focusing on maternal sensitivity and implemented in the baby's first year of life significantly protected children from developing clinical Total Problems at preschool age. Also, compared with the control group, fewer VIPP children scored in the clinical range for Externalizing Problems. No intervention effects on Internalizing clinical problem behavior were found. The VIPP effects on Externalizing and Total clinical Problems were not mediated by VIPP effects on sensitivity and infant attachment or moderated by mother or child variables. Maternal satisfaction with perceived support appeared to be associated with less children's Internalizing, Externalizing, and Total Problems. More research is needed to find the mechanisms triggered by VIPP, but the outcomes could be considered as promising first steps in the prevention of disturbing, externalizing behavior problems in young children. [source]


Predicting toddler anxiety/depressive symptoms: Effects of caregiver sensitivity on temperamentally vulnerable children

INFANT MENTAL HEALTH JOURNAL, Issue 1 2005
Susan L. Warren
This research examines whether maternal sensitivity in early childhood reduces later anxiety/depressive symptoms for children with more temperamental vulnerability, and whether these effects are different for boys and girls. Data from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Early Child Care study with 1,226 subjects (631 boys, 595 girls) were analyzed. Mothers and other caregivers rated children's difficult temperament at 1 and 6 months. Trained observers scored maternal sensitivity when children were 6 and 15 months. Child anxiety/depressive symptoms were rated by mothers and other caregivers when children were 2 and 3 years of age. Maternal sensitivity in early childhood significantly predicted decreased 2- and 3-year-old anxiety/depressive symptoms. Children with more difficult temperament were significantly more likely to show decreased anxiety/depressive symptoms at 2 years of age if their mothers had been more sensitive. Maternal sensitivity also was a significant predictor of decreased anxiety/depressive symptoms for more temperamentally difficult boys, and temperamentally difficult boys with more sensitive mothers were found to be significantly more likely than girls to show decreased anxiety/depressive symptoms at 3 years of age. The findings of this pilot research suggest that facilitating and supporting increased sensitivity for mothers with more temperamentally difficult children could be beneficial. 2005 Michigan Association for Infant Mental Health. [source]


Attachment, culture, and the caregiving system: The cultural patterning of everyday experiences among Anglo and Puerto Rican mother,infant pairs

INFANT MENTAL HEALTH JOURNAL, Issue 1 2003
Vivian J. Carlson
This investigation focuses on cultural differences in the relationship between maternal sensitivity, emotional expression, and control strategies during the first year of life and infant attachment outcomes at 12 months. Participants were middle-class Puerto Rican and Anglo mother,infant pairs (N = 60). Ratings of physical control, emotional expression, and maternal sensitivity during mother,infant interactions in five everyday home settings, videotaped when the infants were 4, 8, and 12 months old, were examined in combination with 12-month Strange Situation classifications. Results suggest that physical control shows a different pattern of relatedness to maternal sensitivity, emotional expression, and attachment outcomes among the Puerto Rican compared to the Anglo mothers in this study. These findings have implications for practitioners and researchers interested in normative parenting among diverse cultural groups. 2003 Michigan Association for Infant Mental Health. [source]


Early Contact versus Separation: Effects on Mother,Infant Interaction One Year Later

BIRTH, Issue 2 2009
Ksenia Bystrova MD
ABSTRACT: Background: A tradition of separation of the mother and baby after birth still persists in many parts of the world, including some parts of Russia, and often is combined with swaddling of the baby. The aim of this study was to evaluate and compare possible long-term effects on mother-infant interaction of practices used in the delivery and maternity wards, including practices relating to mother-infant closeness versus separation.Methods:A total of 176 mother-infant pairs were randomized into four experimental groups: Group I infants were placed skin-to-skin with their mothers after birth, and had rooming-in while in the maternity ward. Group II infants were dressed and placed in their mothers' arms after birth, and roomed-in with their mothers in the maternity ward. Group III infants were kept in the nursery both after birth and while their mothers were in the maternity ward. Group IV infants were kept in the nursery after birth, but roomed-in with their mothers in the maternity ward. Equal numbers of infants were either swaddled or dressed in baby clothes. Episodes of early suckling in the delivery ward were noted. The mother-infant interaction was videotaped according to the Parent-Child Early Relational Assessment (PCERA) 1 year after birth.Results:The practice of skin-to-skin contact, early suckling, or both during the first 2 hours after birth when compared with separation between the mothers and their infants positively affected the PCERA variables maternal sensitivity, infant's self-regulation, and dyadic mutuality and reciprocity at 1 year after birth. The negative effect of a 2-hour separation after birth was not compensated for by the practice of rooming-in. These findings support the presence of a period after birth (the early "sensitive period") during which close contact between mother and infant may induce long-term positive effect on mother-infant interaction. In addition, swaddling of the infant was found to decrease the mother's responsiveness to the infant, her ability for positive affective involvement with the infant, and the mutuality and reciprocity in the dyad.Conclusions:Skin-to-skin contact, for 25 to 120 minutes after birth, early suckling, or both positively influenced mother-infant interaction 1 year later when compared with routines involving separation of mother and infant. [source]


Differential Effects of Maternal Sensitivity to Infant Distress and Nondistress on Social-Emotional Functioning

CHILD DEVELOPMENT, Issue 3 2009
Esther M. Leerkes
Associations between maternal sensitivity to infant distress and nondistress and infant social-emotional adjustment were examined in a subset of dyads from the NICHD Study of Early Child Care (N = 376). Mothers reported on infant temperament at 1 and 6 months postpartum, and maternal sensitivity to distress and nondistress were observed at 6 months. Child behavior problems, social competence, and affect dysregulation were measured at 24 and 36 months. Maternal sensitivity to distress but not to nondistress was related to fewer behavioral problems and higher social competence. In addition, for temperamentally reactive infants, maternal sensitivity to distress was associated with less affect dysregulation. Sensitivity to nondistress only prevented affect dysregulation if sensitivity to distress was also high. [source]


Does Amount of Time Spent in Child Care Predict Socioemotional Adjustment During the Transition to Kindergarten?

CHILD DEVELOPMENT, Issue 4 2003
Early Child Care Research Network, Human Development, National Institute of Child Health
To examine relations between time in nonmaternal care through the first 4.5 years of life and children's socioemotional adjustment, data on social competence and problem behavior were examined when children participating in the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Study of Early Child Care were 4.5 years of age and when in kindergarten. The more time children spent in any of a variety of nonmaternal care arrangements across the first 4.5 years of life, the more externalizing problems and conflict with adults they manifested at 54 months of age and in kindergarten, as reported by mothers, caregivers, and teachers. These effects remained, for the most part, even when quality, type, and instability of child care were controlled, and when maternal sensitivity and other family background factors were taken into account. The magnitude of quantity of care effects were modest and smaller than those of maternal sensitivity and indicators of family socioeconomic status, though typically greater than those of other features of child care, maternal depression, and infant temperament. There was no apparent threshold for quantity effects. More time in care not only predicted problem behavior measured on a continuous scale in a dose-response pattern but also predicted at-risk (though not clinical) levels of problem behavior, as well as assertiveness, disobedience, and aggression. [source]


Supporting insensitive mothers: the Vilnius randomized control trial of video-feedback intervention to promote maternal sensitivity and infant attachment security

CHILD: CARE, HEALTH AND DEVELOPMENT, Issue 5 2009
L. Kalinauskiene
Abstract Objective This randomized control trial examined the effects of a short-term, interaction-focused and attachment-based video-feedback intervention (VIPP: video-feedback intervention to promote positive parenting). Design VIPP effect on mothers' sensitive responsiveness and infant,mother attachment security was evaluated in a sample (n = 54) of low sensitive, non-clinical, middle class Lithuanian mothers. Methods Maternal sensitivity was assessed in a free play session with the Ainsworth's sensitivity scale, and attachment security was observed using the Attachment Q sort for home observations. Results We found that the intervention mothers indeed significantly improved their sensitive responsiveness through participation in our VIPP. The effect size was large according to Cohen's criteria, d = 0.78. VIPP enhanced maternal sensitive responsiveness even when maternal age, educational level, depression, daily hassles, efficacy, infant gender, and infant negative and positive affect were controlled for. However, attachment security in the VIPP infants was not enhanced after the intervention, compared with the control infants, and the infants did not seem to be differentially susceptible to the increase in maternal sensitivity dependent on their temperamental reactivity. Conclusion We suggest that a relatively brief and low-cost programme can provide effective support for mothers who lack sensitivity in the interactions with their infants. [source]