Maternal age, psychological maturity, parenting cognitions, and mother–infant interaction

Anna Lisa Camberis, Catherine A. McMahon*, Frances L. Gibson, Jacky Boivin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


In the context of the trend toward delayed childbearing, the aim of this study was to examine relations among maternal age and the quality of maternal interactive behavior at 7 months assessed using sensitivity and mind-mindedness, while also considering whether age effects were attributable to psychological maturity and parenting cognitions. Participants were 150 Australian mothers (mean age 33-years) and their firstborn infants who were participating in a prospective study of parenthood. Path analysis showed maternal age had both direct and indirect associations with maternal interactive behavior. Older mothers made more mind-related comments to their infants. They were also more sensitive; however, this effect was indirect and explained by greater psychological maturity (hardiness) and a more internal locus of control with regard to parenting. Results suggest that older maternal age may confer some benefits in terms of responsive parenting in infancy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)396-422
Number of pages27
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2016


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