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ERIC Number: EJ869691
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jun
Pages: 43
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0273-2297
The Many Faces of the Still-Face Paradigm: A Review and Meta-Analysis
Mesman, Judi; van IJzendoorn, Marinus H.; Bakermans-Kranenburg, Marian J.
Developmental Review, v29 n2 p120-162 Jun 2009
The Still-Face Paradigm (SFP) designed by Tronick, Als, Adamson, Wise, and Brazelton (Tronick, E., Als, H., Adamson, L., Wise, S., & Brazelton, T. B. (1978). Infants response to entrapment between contradictory messages in face-to-face interaction. "Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 17", 1-13) has been used for many different purposes in over 80 empirical studies. In the current paper, the nature and correlates of infant behavior in the SFP were examined in a systematic narrative review and a series of meta-analyses. The results of the meta-analyses confirmed the classic still-face effect of reduced positive affect and gaze, and increased negative affect, as well as a partial carry-over effect into the reunion episode consisting of lower positive and higher negative affect compared to baseline. The still-face effect is very robust as it was found regardless of most sample variations such as infant gender and risk status, and regardless of most procedural variations, such as the length of the SFP episodes and the use of intervals between episodes. The few moderator effects that were found in the meta-analyses tended to put findings from the narrative review in a new perspective. Additional meta-analyses confirmed the narrative review in finding that higher maternal sensitivity predicted more infant positive affect during the still-face. Infants' higher positive affect and lower negative affect during the still-face were predictive of secure attachment at age 1 year. The meta-analytic results for maternal depression were equivocal. Implications for future research include a need for studies testing the role of the adults' identity (parent versus stranger, mother versus father) to elucidate the relationship-specificity of the still-face effect. Also, the role of maternal sensitivity and temperament as potential moderators of the still-face effect need to be examined further. On a procedural level, the effects of the timing of the still-face and of the duration of the reunion on infant responses deserve future research attention. (Contains 8 tables and 1 figure.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A