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

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Esther M. Leerkes, Associate Professor (Creator)
Marion O'Brien, Professor, Director of Family Research Center and Associate Dean for Research (Creator)
Institution
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/

Abstract: 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.

Additional Information

Publication
Child Development, 80(3), 762-775
Language: English
Date: 2009
Keywords
maternal sensitivity, infants, distress, nondistress, socio-emotional adjustment