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Infant Affective Responses to Mother's Still Face



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Developmental Psychology 2001 Vol 37 No 5 706 714 Copyright 2001 by the American Psychological Association Inc 0012 1649 01 S5 00 DOI 10 1037 0012 1649 37 5 706 Infant Affective Responses to Mother s Still Face at 6 Months Differentially Predict Externalizing and Internalizing Behaviors at 18 Months Ginger A Moore Jeffrey F Cohn and Susan B Campbell Duke University University of Pittsburgh This study investigated a stability and change in infant affective responses to the still face interaction b whether maternal depression affected infant responses and c whether responses to the still face interaction predicted toddler problem behaviors Infants 63 girls and 66 boys of European American mothers 67 depressed and 62 nondepressed were observed in the still face interaction at 2 4 and 6 months Affect and gaze were coded on a 1 s time base There were stable individual differences in gazing away and in rates of negative affect Developmental change occurred only for gazing away which increased At 18 months infants who failed to smile at 6 months in the still face interaction showed more externalizing type behaviors than did other toddlers Infants who failed to cry at 6 months showed fewer internalizing type behaviors Mothers current depressive symptoms and infants earlier responses to the still face interaction made independent comparable contributions to problem behaviors at 18 months The still face interaction in which parents are instructed to become unresponsive to their infants after a period of normal social play was designed to assess infants affective responses to a change in contingent social interaction Tronick Als Adamson Wise Brazelton 1978 A large body of work has described the normative responses of infants between the ages of 3 and 9 months to the still face interaction e g Cohn Tronick 1983 Field Vega Lahr Scafidi Goldstein 1986 Murray Trevarthen 1985 Shapiro Fagen Prigot Carroll Shalan 1998 Toda Fogel 1993 Tronick et al 1978 Weinberg Tronick 1994 1996



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