ERIC Number: ED334022
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Jan-2
Reference Count: 0
Maternal Responsiveness to Infants in Three Societies: The United States, France, and Japan.
Bornstein, Marc H.; And Others
Characteristics of maternal responsiveness in interactions between mothers and infants in New York City, Paris, and Tokyo are compared. A total of 72 primiparous mothers and their 5-month-olds were observed at home. Of the dyads, 24 were Caucasian American, 24 Caucasian French, and 24 Oriental Japanese. Observations were conducted in an identical manner in all three cities. Mothers and infants were videotaped in naturalistic interaction for 45 minutes. Target infant behaviors scored were social visual attention, environmental visual attention, nondistress vocalization, and distress vocalization. Mothers' response types were categorized as social, environmental, nurturant, imitative, and other. Only the first response the mother gave after the infant initiated behavior was counted. Findings indicated culture-general and culture-specific patterns of responsiveness. In all cities, mothers and infants manifested a high degree of specificity and mutual appropriateness. Differences in maternal responsiveness among the three cultures tended to occur in regard to infant looking rather than infant vocalizing (i.e., differences between environment response and social response). The most salient difference between East and West involved Japanese and Americans and concerned dyadic versus extradyadic loci of interaction. Discussion focuses on potential sources of cultural variation and implications of differences in responsiveness for child development in different cultural contexts. Citations number 100. (Author/RH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Inst. of Child Health and Human Development (NIH), Bethesda, MD.
Identifiers: Cultural Universals; France (Paris); Japan (Tokyo); Maternal Responsiveness; New York (New York)