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Title: Examining the impact of an emotional stimulation intervention on interactions between Ethiopian mothers and their infants in the context of treatment for malnutrition
Author: Knight, Elizabeth
ISNI:       0000 0004 6059 8702
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2016
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Infant malnutrition in developing countries, such as Ethiopia, has been linked to a number of negative outcomes (Grantham-McGregor et al., 2007). Evidence suggests that aspects of the relationship between mother and infant may be affected by malnutrition, in terms of attachment (Valenzuela, 1990) and the opportunities for emotional stimulation within the mother-infant relationship (Cravioto & Delicardie, 1975; 1976). This study examines whether an emotional stimulation intervention delivered in addition to emergency food supplementation, may improve the quality of mother-infant interactions. This study uses between-subjects post test and correlational designs. Interactions were recorded for 75 mother-infant dyads, who were enrolled on a randomised controlled trial, comparing the impact of an emotional stimulation intervention on infant weight gain during treatment for malnutrition. Mother-infant interactions were rated using two established coding systems, adapted for the current study. The results indicated that mothers who had received an emotional stimulation intervention in addition to infant nutritional supplementation, were rated as more positive in their interaction with their infants in comparison to the control group. The nature of the interaction was also rated as significantly more positive for mothers and infants in the intervention group. There were no differences between control and intervention groups on infant positive affect and behaviour. This may be attributable to timeliness and methods of measurement. A significant relationship was found between the rate of infant weight gain and the quality of the interaction. Path analysis failed to find support for pathway between the quality of maternal interaction and infant weight gain. This was an exploratory analysis and results were attributed to a lack of statistical power to detect an effect. The findings are considered in relation to theories of the mother-infant relationship, models of malnutrition, methodological rigor. Recommendations for further research are discussed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available