Maternal sensory sensitivity, mother-infant 9-month interaction, infant attachment status: predictors of mother-toddler interaction at 24 months

Infant Behav Dev. 2007 May;30(2):336-52. doi: 10.1016/j.infbeh.2006.10.002. Epub 2006 Nov 7.


At 24-months of age, toddlers (N=62) and their mothers were observed in a free-play session to determine the contribution of (a) maternal sensory sensitivity to positive and negative infant facial expressions as measured in a signal detection task at 6 months, (b) maternal behavior and affect, infant behavior and affect, and dyadic interaction at 9 months, and (c) infant attachment status at 12 months in predicting maternal, toddler, and dyadic measures at 24 months. Hierarchical regression analyses revealed that over and above early maternal behavior, which was predictive of later maternal behavior at 24 months, sensory sensitivity to the positive infant expression at 6 months predicted maternal behavior at 24 months and sensory sensitivity to both the positive and negative expression was associated with later maternal affect. Infant attachment status emerged as the variable which predicted toddler behavior and dyadic interaction at 24 months.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Affect
  • Age Factors
  • Child, Preschool
  • Facial Expression*
  • Female
  • Forecasting
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Maternal Behavior*
  • Mother-Child Relations*
  • Object Attachment*
  • Play and Playthings