Interactions between mothers and infants: impact of maternal anxiety.
Nicol-Harper R., Harvey AG., Stein A.
The aim of the study was to examine the impact of anxiety in the postnatal year on maternal contribution to mother-infant interaction. Participants were 32 mothers with high anxiety and 32 mothers with low anxiety, when their infants were aged 10-14 months. Mother-infant interaction was videotaped during a standardized play situation and coded blind to group status. High trait anxiety mothers showed less sensitive responsivity (p<.05) and reduced emotional tone (p<.05) during interaction. When participants scoring high in depressive symptomatology were removed for a subgroup analysis, the same pattern of results was obtained, suggesting that the observed differences in mother-infant interaction were due to group differences in anxiety.