Maternal Behavior Predicts Infant Neurophysiological and Behavioral Attention Processes in the First Year

Swingler, M. M., Perry, N. B., Calkins, S. D., & Bell, M. A.

From the abstract: This study "tested whether maternal behavior measured during 2 mother−child interaction tasks when infants (N = 388) were 5 months predicted infant medial frontal (F3/F4) EEG power and observed attention behavior during an attention task at 10 months." The "results indicated a significant direct and positive association from 5-month maternal positive affect to infant attention behavior at 10 months. However, maternal positive affect was not related to medial frontal EEG power. In contrast, 5-month maternal intrusive behavior was associated with infants’ task-related EEG power change at the left frontal location, F3, at 10 months of age. The test of indirect effects from 5-month maternal intrusiveness to 10-month infant attention behavior via infants’ EEG power change at F3 was significant. These findings suggest that the development of neural networks serving attention processes may be one mechanism through which early maternal behavior is related to infant attention development in the first year and that intrusive maternal behavior may have a particularly disruptive effect on this process." (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)

Available here: Developmental Psychology
Citation: Swingler, M. M., Perry, N. B., Calkins, S. D., & Bell, M. A. (2017). Maternal behavior predicts infant neurophysiological and behavioral attention processes in the first year. Developmental Psychology, 53, 13-27.
DOI: 10.1037/dev0000187