The mother-infant relationship and infant development: the effect of pediatric intervention

Child Dev. 1982 Aug;53(4):948-56.


This study examined the impact of intervention provided in the context of pediatric health supervision visits on the mother-infant relationship during the first 6 months of life. 32 mother-infant dyads were randomly assigned at birth to either an intervention or attention control group, each of which received routine well-child care plus discussions regarding infant social development or accident prevention and nutrition, respectively. Blind assessment of infant and mother behavior frequencies, responsive behavior sequences, and affective relationship characteristics during a 21-min play observation revealed more sensitivity, cooperativeness, appropriateness of interaction, and appropriateness of play by the intervention group pairs, although differences in Bayley Mental Scales and the Uzgiris and Hunt subscales did not attain significance. Post hoc inspection of the behavioral correlates of the affective relationship characteristics provided support for molar assessment of mother-infant interaction as an adjunct to contemporary methods of behavioral microanalytic study.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Affect
  • Child Behavior
  • Child Development*
  • Female
  • Health Education*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Maternal Behavior
  • Mother-Child Relations*
  • Pediatrics*
  • Play and Playthings