The aim of this study was to investigate the mother–infant relationship in depressive, psychosocial, and cumulative-risk parenting by assessing prenatal and postnatal maternal representations and mother–infant interactions during feeding at 4 months of age. The sample consisted of 167 mother–infant pairs: 41 nonrisk women, 40 depressive-risk women, 40 psychosocial-risk women, and 46 cumulative-risk women. During pregnancy, the women were interviewed about psychosocial-risk variables. Maternal representations and depressive symptoms were evaluated during pregnancy and again when the infants were 3 and 4 months old, respectively. All mother–infant pairs were observed in 20-min video recordings during breast-feeding. Maternal Integrated/balanced representations were more frequent in the nonrisk group whereas the maternal Nonintegrated/ambivalent category was more represented in the cumulative-risk group during pregnancy and after the infant’s birth. At 4 months, the cumulative-risk group of mothers and infants showed a lack of reciprocity, conflictual communicative exchanges, and higher food refusal behavior. Moreover, at 4 months, differences between the quality of mother–infant feeding interactions and the quality of prenatal and postnatal maternal representations emerged, showing less adequate maternal scaffolding in the Nonintegrated/ambivalent and Restricted/disengaged women. This study has rich implications for intervention to support the affective and communicative caregiving system and to prevent infant feeding problems and mother–infant relational disturbances in childhood.

Prenatal and postanatal maternal representaions in nonrisk and at-risk parenting: exploring the influences on mother-infant feeding interactions

LUCARELLI, LOREDANA
2014

Abstract

The aim of this study was to investigate the mother–infant relationship in depressive, psychosocial, and cumulative-risk parenting by assessing prenatal and postnatal maternal representations and mother–infant interactions during feeding at 4 months of age. The sample consisted of 167 mother–infant pairs: 41 nonrisk women, 40 depressive-risk women, 40 psychosocial-risk women, and 46 cumulative-risk women. During pregnancy, the women were interviewed about psychosocial-risk variables. Maternal representations and depressive symptoms were evaluated during pregnancy and again when the infants were 3 and 4 months old, respectively. All mother–infant pairs were observed in 20-min video recordings during breast-feeding. Maternal Integrated/balanced representations were more frequent in the nonrisk group whereas the maternal Nonintegrated/ambivalent category was more represented in the cumulative-risk group during pregnancy and after the infant’s birth. At 4 months, the cumulative-risk group of mothers and infants showed a lack of reciprocity, conflictual communicative exchanges, and higher food refusal behavior. Moreover, at 4 months, differences between the quality of mother–infant feeding interactions and the quality of prenatal and postnatal maternal representations emerged, showing less adequate maternal scaffolding in the Nonintegrated/ambivalent and Restricted/disengaged women. This study has rich implications for intervention to support the affective and communicative caregiving system and to prevent infant feeding problems and mother–infant relational disturbances in childhood.
Maternal representations, Mother-Infant interactions, Depressive and psychosocial risk
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11584/57173
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