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Depressed Mothers' Touching Increases Infants' Positive Affect and Attention in Still-Face Interactions
Martha Peláez-Nogueras, Tiffany M. Field, Ziarat Hossain and Jeffrey Pickens
Vol. 67, No. 4 (Aug., 1996), pp. 1780-1792
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1131731
Page Count: 13
You can always find the topics here!Topics: Mothers, Infants, Depressive disorders, Sense of touch, Smiles, Vocalization, Visual fixation, Social interaction, Child development, Genetic variation
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The effects of depressed mothers' touching on their infants' behavior were investigated during the still-face situation. 48 depressed and nondepressed mothers and their 3-month-old infants were randomly assigned to control and experimental conditions. 4 successive 90-sec periods were implemented: (A) normal play, (B) still-face-no-touch, (C) still-face-with-touch, and (A) normal play. Depressed and nondepressed mothers were instructed and shown how to provide touch for their infants during the still-face-with-touch period. Different affective and attentive responses of the infants of depressed versus the infants of nondepressed mothers were observed. Infants of depressed mothers showed more positive affect (smiles and vocalizations) and gazed more at their mothers' hands during the still-face-with-touch period than the infants of nondepressed mothers, who grimaced, cried, and gazed away from their mothers' faces more often. The results suggest that by providing touch stimulation for their infants, the depressed mothers can increase infant positive affect and attention and, in this way, compensate for negative effects often resulting from their typical lack of affectivity (flat facial and vocal expressions) during interactions.
Child Development © 1996 Society for Research in Child Development