The development of maternal self-efficacy and its influence on maternal behavior

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Esther M. Leerkes, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: A developmental model of the origins of maternal self-efficacy and its impact on maternal sensitivity was tested. Participants were 92 primiparous mothers and their 6-month-old infants. Mothers completed questionnaires about remembered care from their own parents and self-esteem prenatally, satisfaction with support, infant temperament, and maternal self-efficacy postnatally, and they participated in a laboratory observation with their infants. Maternal self-efficacy was predicted by remembered maternal care as mediated by global self-esteem. Infant soothability predicted maternal self-efficacy independently and in conjunction with distress to novelty and in conjunction with both distress to limits and satisfaction with support. Maternal self-efficacy interacted with distress to limits to predict maternal sensitivity during emotionally arousing activities. High infant distress was associated with less sensitive maternal behavior when maternal self-efficacy was moderately low and extremely high, but was positively associated with sensitive maternal behavior when self-efficacy was moderately high. Implications for future research are discussed.

Additional Information

Infancy, 3, 227-247
Language: English
Date: 2002
infant distress, infant reactivity, maternal self-efficacy, infant soothability

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