Effect of gender on the interactions between mothers and their medically at-risk infants
This study examined effects of gender on interactions between mothers and their medically at-risk infants: 108 premature infants, 67 medically fragile infants, and 83 infants seropositive for HIV. Systematic observation and the HOME Inventory were used to describe the mother-infant interaction. General Linear Mixed Models were used to determine whether the effect of gender was longitudinally related to the interactions between mothers and each sample of medically at-risk infants after controlling for maternal demographics. No gender-differentiated mother-infant interactions were found; however, premature infants and infants seropositive for HIV showed less negativism, while medically fragile infants showed more social behaviours over time. Mothers of premature and medically fragile infants were increasingly restrictive to their infants, while HIV-positive mothers did not show this tendency. Mothers who were older, had more years of education, and married were more attentive and less restrictive to their infants than mothers who were younger, had fewer years of education, and unmarried. In addition, there were three significant interactions. Married mothers with higher education of medically fragile infants showed more attention than married mothers with lower education. Also, younger HIV-positive mothers with fewer years of education showed the least amount of attention to their infants.
Cho, J; Miles, MS; Holditch-Davis, D; Belyea, M
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