Abstract

This study examined the relationship between 6-month old infants' orienting response to maternal arm-restraint (as measured by bradycardia), the quality of mother-infant communication at 6 and 9 months (as measured by the Relational Coding System) and attachment at 12 months (as measured by the Strange Situation Procedure). As positive mother-infant communication increases, the chances the infant will experience bradycardia increases. As negative mother-infant communication increases, the chances that the infant will experience bradycardia decreases. For mothers and infants who have more positive communication patterns, orienting response to the maternal arm-restraint suggests that maternal disruption of infant activity was a novel experience for them. This study suggests that mother infant interactions create an expected pattern of behavior for infants. When these expectations are violated, the infant has a physiological reaction that suggests increased attention to the disrupted interaction. Bradycardia at 6 months was not related to attachment at 12 months; however, considering both the physiology and environment of the infant, dyadic positive and negative interactions affect the quality of the mother-infant relationship several months later.

Degree

MS

College and Department

Family, Home, and Social Sciences; Family Life; Marriage, Family, and Human Development

Rights

http://lib.byu.edu/about/copyright/

Date Submitted

2011-12-12

Document Type

Thesis

Handle

http://hdl.lib.byu.edu/1877/etd4923

Keywords

attachment, co-regulation, communication, mother-infant, orienting

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