ERIC Number: ED175533
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Maternal Attitudes Toward Child Care Issues as Related to Maternal Anxiety, Infant Temperament, Length of Gestation, and Sex of Infant.
Silver-Merzer, Judith; And Others
This study examines the relationship among the variables of maternal attitudes toward child care, maternal anxiety, infant temperament, length of gestation and sex for a sample of black mothers of premature and full-term infants. Ninety percent of the mothers were unmarried and 81 percent of the pregnancies were reported to be unplanned. Contrary to previous findings, the data indicated that high levels of trait anxiety were adaptive for mothers of prematures, but not for mothers of full-terms. Higher maternal trait anxiety was expressed by mothers of prematures and by mothers of infants with difficult temperament, regardless of length of gestation. The interaction of length of gestation with infant temperament was related to mothers' attitudes about themselves as caretakers; however, contrary to expectations, these infant characteristics were not associated with a mother's attitudes toward her relationship with her child. There were distinct sex differences, with mothers of girls expressing significantly more adaptive child care attitudes on three of five scales of Cohler's Maternal Attitude Scale. The need to reexamine the clinical portrait attributed to mothers of prematures based on the current study's findings is discussed. In addition, questions are raised concerning the implications for the mother-male infant relationship. (Author/MP)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Illinois Inst. of Tech., Chicago. Dept. of Psychology and Education.
Identifiers: Infant Temperament
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the Western Psychological Association (San Diego, California, April 1979)