Early Protective and Adverse Experiences Impact Maternal Interactions with Their Young Infants
Huffer, Amy Lynn
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The interactions between infants and their mothers are experiences that have lifelong meaning for both individuals. These early relationships may serve as protective factors to adversity or they may be the source of adversity. Few studies have examined predictors of mother-infant interactions using the Adverse Childhood Experiences Scale (ACES) and the Protective and Compensatory Experiences Scale (PACES). The following study examined whether maternal adversities and protective factors in childhood are predictors of interactions with their young infants. This study collected ACES and PACES from 45 mothers and coded 10 minute free play interactions with their infants under six months of age for mind-minded commenting, coding both appropriate and non-attuned comments. Findings indicate that adversity in childhood was a significant predictor of both synchronous (β=-.12, p<.01) and intrusive (β = .47, p < .05) maternal behaviors, but was not predictive of mind-minded commenting (β= -.16, p > .05). When the ACE measure was broken into two subscales: household dysfunction and maltreatment, similar findings were emerged. PACES was predictive of maternal appropriate mind-minded commenting (β= .26, p < .05), but was not predictive of synchrony nor intrusiveness. These findings provide preliminary evidence for the impact of mothers' childhood experiences on interaction patterns with their young infants. By expanding our understanding of the impact of adversity and protective experiences on interactions between mothers and infants, interventions can be targeted to address these experiences, enhance positive interactions between mothers and infants, and change the trajectories for young children.
- OSU Dissertations