ERIC Number: ED332473
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Interaction in High-Risk Dyads: Maternal Affect and Child Synchrony.
Johnson, Helen L.; Cohen, Michele
This study examined both maternal and child interaction styles, focusing on the association between differences in maternal level and quality of involvement and the synchrony and affective quality of child interaction behaviors. The subjects were 55 mother-child dyads in which the children (ages 2-5) had been referred to a mental health center because of developmental and/or adjustment problems. Results indicated that the affective quality of maternal behavior was related to the level of synchrony shown by the child. Positive maternal behaviors (engage, structure, expand, hug, reward) were correlated with positive synchronous child behaviors (join, structure). Negative maternal behaviors (disrupt, restrict, tease, discourage, criticize, threat, scold, force, punish) were correlated with asynchronous child behaviors (direct, persist, ignore). The affective quality of maternal behavior was not related to either the child's sex or the mother's marital status. Overall, 35% of the mothers were identified as employing predominantly negative interaction strategies. Within this group, 74% were also identified as being highly controlling. Children of negative/controlling mothers showed much more behavior that terminated rather than maintained shared focus and activity. It is concluded that children of highly critical and discouraging mothers may adapt by tuning out. Children of depressed mothers who do not provide structure, limits, or stimulation may have difficulty accepting limits and reciprocity in other settings. (JDD)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Dyads; Synchrony
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association (98th, Boston, MA, August 10-14, 1990).