Interactions between mothers and infants: impact of maternal anxiety

Infant Behav Dev. 2007 Feb;30(1):161-7. doi: 10.1016/j.infbeh.2006.08.005. Epub 2006 Sep 12.


The aim of the study was to examine the impact of anxiety in the postnatal year on maternal contribution to mother-infant interaction. Participants were 32 mothers with high anxiety and 32 mothers with low anxiety, when their infants were aged 10-14 months. Mother-infant interaction was videotaped during a standardized play situation and coded blind to group status. High trait anxiety mothers showed less sensitive responsivity (p<.05) and reduced emotional tone (p<.05) during interaction. When participants scoring high in depressive symptomatology were removed for a subgroup analysis, the same pattern of results was obtained, suggesting that the observed differences in mother-infant interaction were due to group differences in anxiety.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anxiety Disorders / psychology*
  • Child Development
  • Depression / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Mother-Child Relations*
  • Parenting / psychology*