Prenatal maternal reactivity to infant cries predicts postnatal perceptions of infant temperament and marriage appraisal.
In a sample of 60 primiparous women, cardiac response and ratings of subjective aversiveness to recordings of unfamiliar infant cries were studied at 32 weeks' gestation. Regression analyses were used to examine relations between cardiac acceleration and subjective aversiveness and 3 groups of postnatal dependent variables: perception of infant temperament, the mother's emotional state, and her appraisal of her marriage. Mothers who prenatally rated the cry recordings as more aversive postnatally described their 3-month-old infants as more fussy/difficult and unpredictable. With statistical control for prenatal variation on the emotional state and marital outcome measures, cardiac acceleration predicted later marital quality. Women who showed greater cardiac acceleration to the cries described their postnatal marital relationships more negatively.
Published In/Presented At
Pedersen, F. A., Huffman, L. C., del Carmen, R., & Bryan, Y. E. (1996). Prenatal maternal reactivity to infant cries predicts postnatal perceptions of infant temperament and marriage appraisal. Child development, 67(5), 2541–2552.
Medicine and Health Sciences
Patient Care Services / Nursing