Gender, ethnicity, and the interactions of prematurely born children and their mothers.
This study examined the relationship of child gender and maternal ethnicity to the interactive behaviors of 53 3-year-old prematurely born children and their mothers. Boys and Non-White children had more developmental sequelae. Although most interactive behaviors did not differ by gender or ethnicity, mothers expressed more positive affect to girls than boys, and girls looked at their mothers more often and expressed more positive affect. White mothers expressed more positive affect, touched more, and had better scores on three Home Observation for Measurement of the Environment (HOME) Inventory subscales and the total HOME score than Non-White mothers. Child behaviors did not differ by ethnicity. Gender and ethnic group differences were affected by maternal education and child illness severity. Thus, although the interactive behaviors of mothers and prematurely born children are related to both child gender and ethnicity, some of these effects are better explained by maternal education and child illness severity. The systems view of the mother-child relationship is used to interpret these findings.
Cho, J; Holditch-Davis, D; Belyea, M
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