Maternal responsiveness to infant affect: Stability and prediction

Pamela Nicely, Catherine S. Tamis-LeMonda, Wendy S. Grolnick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In two short-term longitudinal studies, infant expressivity and maternal responsiveness to infant expressivity were examined. In Study 1, thirty-eight dyads visited a laboratory at 11 and 12 months; in Study 2, seventy-seven dyads were visited in their homes at 9 and 13 months. Mother-infant interaction was coded from videotapes of free play in both studies. Infant expressivity and maternal responsiveness to infant expressivity were stable after the contributions of the other partner were considered. Infant expressivity at 13 months was influenced by 9-month and 13-month maternal responsiveness to infant expressivity. Predictive relations from 9 to 13 months, however, were attenuated when stability in maternal responsiveness was considered, indicating that consistency in maternal responsiveness over time influences later infant expressivity. Maternal responses that matched infant affect were more stable and more predictive of infant expressivity than nonmatching responses, suggesting that matching responses may play a distinctive role in the development of infant expressivity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)103-117
Number of pages15
JournalInfant Behavior and Development
Volume22
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1999

Keywords

  • Affect
  • Emotions
  • Maternal responsiveness
  • Mother-infant interaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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