Quality of social interaction in foster dyads at child age 2 and 3 years

Child Psychiatry Hum Dev. 2019 Feb;50(1):121-131. doi: 10.1007/s10578-018-0823-7.


The main aim of this study was to investigate the quality of social interaction between 60 foster parents and their foster children compared to a group of 55 non-foster families at 2 (T1) and again at 3 (T2) years of age. Video observations were used to investigate child-parent interaction at both time-points. "This is My Baby" interview was administered to investigate foster parents' commitment at T1. The main results revealed significant group differences at T1 on all child-parent social interaction measures, although not at T2. Further, a significant group by time interaction was identified for parental sensitivity, revealing a positive development over time in the foster group. Finally, a significant positive relation was found between commitment at T1 and parental sensitivity. The results convey an optimistic view of the possibilities for foster dyads to develop positive patterns of social interaction over time.

Keywords: Child–parent interaction; Commitment; Foster care; Sensitivity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child, Foster / psychology*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Female
  • Foster Home Care / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Interview, Psychological / methods*
  • Male
  • Parent-Child Relations*
  • Parents / psychology*
  • Time Factors