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Emotion Socialization and Expressive Development in Preterm and Full-Term Infants
Carol Zander Malatesta, Patricia Grigoryev, Catherine Lamb, Melanie Albin and Clayton Culver
Vol. 57, No. 2 (Apr., 1986), pp. 316-330
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1130587
Page Count: 15
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The expressive behaviors of full-term and preterm infants and their mothers were examined during face-to-face interaction when the infants were approximately 2½, 5, and 7½ months old. Videotapes of the sessions were coded on a second-to-second basis using Izard's discrete emotion coding system. Overall, infants showed a linear increase in positive affect, especially interest and joy, and a corresponding decrease in negative affect, especially pain and knit brow, with age; decrease in negative affect was accounted for largely by the preterm infants. In terms of maternal responses, there was an increase in contingent responding to infant interest expressions and a decrease in contingent responding to infant pain expressions over time, especially in the case of the preterm infant. The data set as a whole was examined further to establish the directionality of influence between mothers and infants in change patterns over time. There was evidence of learning effects in infants as a function of maternal modeling and contingency patterns. Anomalies in maternal responses to preterm infant affect expressions were observed. Mothers of these infants displayed significantly less matching or imitation of their infant's facial expressions, showed random rather than contingent responsiveness to sadness, and a significant ignoring response to infant anger. These differences were attributed to differences in gazing patterns and negative emotion expression in preterm infants. The results are discussed within a framework of emotion socialization that recognizes bidirectionality of influence in the emotional patterns of mothers and infants.
Child Development © 1986 Society for Research in Child Development