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Title: Change in maternal representations and maternal behaviour in early motherhood : a 1-year follow along study
Author: Sockett, H.
Awarding Body: University College London (University of London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2011
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Objectives: The study examined the way mothers’ narratives about her child change during the early years of motherhood and to assess if these changes are meaningfully associated with parent infant relationships and maternal psychopathology. Method: The study followed 76 mother-infant dyads over a 12 month period from two socially disadvantaged community samples: a normative group and a clinically referred group. Maternal representations were measured using the Reflective Functioning (RF) scale and the 10 PDI (Wain, 2010), a dimensional coding system developed for the Parent Development Interview (PDI). The mother-infant relationship was rated using the Emotional Availability Scale. Maternal psychopathology was measured in terms of depressive symptomatology, parental stress and symptoms of distress. All measures were conducted at baseline and at 12 month follow up. Results: Maternal psychopathology at both time points was concurrently associated with more evidence of emotional distress, hostility and helplessness, and less evidence of maternal support in PDI narratives. Over the 12 month study period we observed a decrease in levels of maternal psychopathology and increased maternal emotional availability reflected in concurrent adaptive change in the PDI narratives. Behavioural observations of child involvement with mother at Time 2 were predicted by more enmeshed/role-reversed maternal representations at Time 1. However, child responsiveness in mother-infant interactions at Time 2 was predicted by evidence of supportive maternal representations at Time 1. Conclusions: The results are interpreted in terms of the role of maternal representations in the emerging relationship between mother and infant.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available