ERIC Number: ED114205
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1975-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Developmental Change in the Behavior of Infants and Their Mothers Relevant to Close Bodily Contact.
Ainsworth, Mary D. Salter; Blehar, Mary C.
This report is based on a longitudinal analysis of physical-contact interaction of mother-infant pairs throughout the first year of life. The sample consisted of 26 middle-class mother-infant pairs who were observed in their homes for four hours once every three weeks. During each visit, the observer made a running record of everything that happened when the infant was interacting with another person. The report focuses on the data on pick-ups by the mothers. The infant measures examined positive and negative responses to being held and positive and negative responses to being put down. The maternal measures examined tender, careful holding, inept holding, and affectionate behaviors. Findings suggest that initial constitutional differences in infants' responses to contact are overridden by the influence of maternal behavior and that tender, careful holding is most clearly associated across time with positive infant response to being held. The amount of time the mother held the baby does not seem to influence the child's positive response as much as the way she holds him. Finally, babies who show most enjoyment of close bodily contact with their mothers do not become addicted to it, but are the very ones who became increasingly content to be put down. (JMB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A