Mother-infant relations in different ethnic groups living in London

Baudin, Jennifer M.


Baudin, Jennifer M. (1982) Mother-infant relations in different ethnic groups living in London.

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Styles of mothering and the emphasis on the mother-infant relationship vary enormously both across and within cultures. Class, ethnicity, birth order and sex are some of the factors which have been shown to affect mother-infant relations, and thus the infant's development.

The importance of a stimulating physical environment for the infant's cognitive-intellectual development is now accepted, but the question of which aspects of development are related to different aspects of the environment, and at which ages, are less investigated. Individual differences also have to be considered here.

This longitudinal study was planned to look at the mother-infant relationship and its subsequent effect on infant development in a diversity of child-rearing situations. Both ethnic origin and social class differed widely, reflecting the main immigrant groups of the area of study and the indigenous population. 19 mother-infant pairs were visited in their homes at 3-monthly intervals until 18 months. Assessment was by means of maternal interview, observation of family interaction, and developmental testing of infants.

No significant differences relating to social class or ethnic group, sex of infant or birth order emerged, either in cognitive, motor or social development. Differences in styles of mothering were observed, and cross-lagged panel analysis indicated the positive influence of two maternal behaviours: Emotional and Verbal Responsivity, and Maternal Involvement, on subsequent mental development.

Direction of effect for both behaviours was from mother to child, so that it was the more emotionally responsive and involved mothers who were having the more positive effect on their infant's level of mental functioning. In the second year a mutually reinforcing "steady state" relationship appeared to have been established between these two maternal behaviours and infant's mental test scores, although the impact of the alerter infants in eliciting maternal involvement was now greater than in the first year.

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This is a Accepted version
This version's date is: 1982
This item is not peer reviewed

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Item TypeThesis (Doctoral)
TitleMother-infant relations in different ethnic groups living in London
AuthorsBaudin, Jennifer M.
Uncontrolled KeywordsSociology; Ethnic Studies; Individual & Family Studies; Social Sciences; Social Sciences; Social Sciences; Different; Ethnic; Groups; Infant; Living; London; London; Mother; Mother-Infant Relations; Mother-Infant Relations; Relations



Deposited by () on 01-Feb-2017 in Royal Holloway Research Online.Last modified on 01-Feb-2017


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