Influence of adolescent maternal characteristics on infant development

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Aiello, Rachele and Lancaster, Sandra (2007) Influence of adolescent maternal characteristics on infant development. Infant Mental Health Journal, 28 (5). pp. 496-516. ISSN 0163-9641


The present study proposed that several adolescent maternal variables would be associated with infant development. Using a sample of 71 adolescent mother-infant dyads, the study examined the relative influences of the adolescent’s level of separation-individuation (Separation-Individuation Process Inventory), feelings of attachment towards the infant (Maternal Postnatal Attachment Scale), and feelings of anxiety regarding separation (Maternal Separation Anxiety Scale) on infant mental and motor development (Bayley Scales of Infant Development, 2nd ed.). As it was assumed that the adolescent’s perceptions of being parented would provide the foundation for each of these independent variables, this factor was also included (Parental Bonding Instrument). In the current sample, adolescent separation individuation was the only maternal psychological variable to uniquely predict infant development, but only on the mental scale. Present findings highlight the importance of considering critical developmental processes of adolescence when exploring cognitive functioning and other outcomes in infants of adolescents. A number of possible mechanisms for the influence of separation-individuation are considered in the discussion.

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Item type Article
DOI 10.1002/imhj.
Official URL
Subjects Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Social Sciences and Psychology
Historical > FOR Classification > 1701 Psychology
Historical > SEO Classification > 9202 Health and Support Services
Keywords ResPubID13669, adolescent mothers, infant development, maternal postnatal attachment, maternal separation anxiety, parental bonding
Citations in Scopus 20 - View on Scopus
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