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

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Meier, P.S. ; Wolke, D. ; Gutbrod, T. ; Rust, L. (2003)
  • Publisher: John Wiley and Sons

The relationship between maternal sensitivity and infant irritability was investigated in a short-term\ud longitudinal study of 29 very preterm infants. Infant irritability was assessed at term with the Brazelton\ud NBAS, the Mother and Baby Scales (MABS) and the Crying Pattern Questionnaire (CPQ). Maternal\ud sensitivity was assessed by nurses' ratings in the neonatal care unit and at three months during motherinfant\ud interaction observation. Cross-lagged panel analysis indicated that neonatal irritability did not\ud influence sensitivity at 3 months nor did maternal sensitivity in the newborn period lead to reduced\ud irritability at 3 months. Both irritability and maternal sensitivity showed moderate stability over time (r=.55\ud and r=.60, respectively). It is concluded that in early infancy maternal sensitivity shows little influence on\ud infant irritability in very preterm infants.
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