The usefulness of an assessment of emotional involvement of HIV-positive mothers and their infants.
INTRODUCTION: A positive mother-infant relationship is crucial for optimal child development; however, many factors may interfere with the development of a such a relationship. One group at risk for compromised mother-infant interactions is women with HIV infection. The purposes of this study were (a) to examine the usefulness of the Attachment During Stress scale (ADS) for measuring the emotional involvement of HIV-positive mothers with their infants during a clinic visit and (b) to explore the effects of maternal health status, age, parity, and educational level on mother-infant involvement. METHOD: A descriptive, longitudinal study was conducted with 57 primarily African American HIV-positive mothers and their infants who were patients at 1 of 2 regional referral centers. The ADS was completed during the child's physical examination at 3, 6, and 12 months of age, and mothers completed questionnaires during these visits. RESULTS: Maternal age, education level, health status, and parity were not related to maternal emotional involvement. However, the emotional involvement of the mother and infant were correlated (r = 0.73, P < .001). DISCUSSION: These findings suggest that the ADS may be a useful screening tool to supplement the nurse's clinical judgment in a pediatric outpatient setting. The ADS provides some useful information about the emotional involvement of the mother and infant, although it does not provide a comprehensive assessment of their relationship.
Hale, AK; Holditch-Davis, D; D'Auria, J; Miles, MS
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