Prenatal anxiety and maternal sensitivity predict infant performance on the Bayley Scales of Infant Development

K. Grant, C. McMahon, M. Austin

    Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting abstractpeer-review


    Objective: To examine the impact of prenatal anxiety and maternal sensitivity on infant cognitive, motor and behavioral development
    as assessed by the Bayley Scales of Infant Development II. Method: Maternal symptoms of anxiety during the last six months of
    pregnancy were assessed using clinical diagnostic interview. Mother-infant dyads were followed-up at 7-months postpartum for the
    assessment of maternal sensitivity and infant development. Maternal postnatal (concurrent) symptoms of anxiety and depression were
    also assessed at this time. Maternal sensitivity was rated by independent observers from videotapes of mother-infant dyads engaged in
    face-to-face interaction. Infant cognitive and motor development was assessed using the Bayley Scales of Infant Development
    administered during a home visit. Infant behavior during developmental testing was coded using the Behavior Rating Scales, the third
    component of the Bayley Scales. Results: Data analyses using univariate Analyses of Variance were based on 77 mothers and their 7
    month-old infants. Significant interactions indicated that prenatal anxiety and maternal sensitivity act in concert to shape infant
    cognitive development (p=.03), and infant emotion regulation (p=.02), orientation and engagement (p=.007), and overall behavior
    during developmental testing (p=.009). The findings are independent of maternal prenatal depression symptoms, and postnatal
    symptoms of anxiety and depression. Conclusions: Infants' cognitive and behavioral development appears to relate to the interactive
    influences of maternal prenatal anxiety and postnatal care giving sensitivity. The findings are consistent with a model of cumulative
    risk and are expected to contribute to our understanding of mechanisms of risk and to help identify targets of intervention/prevention
    to benefit mothers and their infants.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article numbers220
    Pages (from-to)150-150
    Number of pages1
    JournalInfant Mental Health Journal
    Issue number3 supplement
    Publication statusPublished - 2010
    Event12th world congress of World Association for Infant Mental Health: 12th world congress WAIMH - Leipzig, Germany
    Duration: 30 Jun 20103 Jul 2010

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