Maternal Sensitivity: Components and Relations to Warmth and Contingency

Autor(en): Lohaus, Arnold
Keller, Heidi
Ball, Juliane
Elben, Cornelia
Voelker, Susanne
Stichwörter: ATTACHMENT; Family Studies; INTERACTIVE BEHAVIOR; Psychology; Psychology, Developmental
Erscheinungsdatum: 2001
Herausgeber: ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD
Journal: PARENTING-SCIENCE AND PRACTICE
Volumen: 1
Ausgabe: 4
Startseite: 267
Seitenende: 284
Zusammenfassung: 
Objective. In this article, maternal sensitivity as a measure of parenting quality is analyzed for (1) situational independence, (2) interrelations among components of sensitivity (signal perception, correct interpretation, prompt, and appropriate reaction), and (3) relations to emotional warmth and behavioral contingency. Design. The interactions of 60 mother - infant pairs at 3 months were videotaped in contexts of caregiving and free-play in their homes. Maternal sensitivity and its components were evaluated separately in each context and in combination. Maternal emotional warmth and behavioral contingency were considered in terms of their effects on both positive and negative infant signals. Results. Maternal sensitivity ratings reflected in free-play interactions were more consistent with the general measure from both contexts than was the case for caregiving interactions. The components of sensitivity were interrelated, indicating a unified understanding of the concept of sensitivity by the raters. Conclusions. Maternal emotional warmth during the expression of positive infant signals seems to be related to maternal sensitivity. In contrast, maternal emotional warmth during the expression of negative infant signals, and contingency in general, do not seem to be related to sensitivity. This study contributes to understanding the concept of maternal sensitivity and demonstrates that it can be closely related to maternal warmth during the expression of positive infant signals.
ISSN: 15295192
DOI: 10.1207/S15327922PAR0104_1

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