Dyadic disturbances in cocaine-abusing mothers and their infants

J Clin Psychol. 1991 Mar;47(2):316-9. doi: 10.1002/1097-4679(199103)47:2<316::aid-jclp2270470220>3.0.co;2-1.


A recently developed instrument for the quantification of mother-infant interaction, the Parent-Child Early Relationship Assessment (PCERA), was used to observe drug-abusing mothers and their infants. Compared to the standardization sample used in the development of the PCERA, these drug-abusing mothers (N = 5) showed a tendency toward rigidity and overcontrol in their parenting, a lack of enjoyment and pleasure in relating to their infants, and limited emotional involvement and responsivity in their interaction. An analysis of the dyadic behaviors showed an overall reduction in reciprocity, mutual enjoyment, and regulation of interaction between mother and infant.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cocaine*
  • Emotions
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Maternal Behavior
  • Mother-Child Relations*
  • Personality
  • Social Behavior
  • Substance-Related Disorders / psychology*
  • Videotape Recording


  • Cocaine