Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Maternal mind-mindedness : a cognitive-behavioural trait or a relational construct?
Author: Illingworth, Gaby
ISNI:       0000 0004 7230 5508
Awarding Body: Oxford Brookes University
Current Institution: Oxford Brookes University
Date of Award: 2014
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
Background: Maternal mind-mindedness describes mothers’ tendency to attribute internal states to their children (Meins, 1997) and has been shown to have clear links with positive developmental outcomes for children. However, the nature of the construct has not yet been fully explored. Maternal mind-mindedness has been described as both a cognitive-behavioural trait and as a relational construct but crucially designs have included only one child per mother so it has not been possible to investigate whether a mother’s mind-mindedness is related with different children. This thesis aimed to examine the extent to which maternal mind-mindedness can be seen as a cognitive-behavioural trait or a relational construct, dependent on specific mother-child relationships. Method: Thirty-two mothers with two children between 21⁄2 and 10 years took part in two assessments, nine months apart. Mothers’ relationships with more than one child were investigated concurrently and across time. Mothers’ representational and interactional mind-mindedness were assessed as well as their tendency to use mental-state explanations (psychological mindedness). Child contributions to mind-mindedness were assessed through maternal report and observer ratings of child temperament and behaviour. Results: Mothers’ representational mind-mindedness was inconsistent across relationships with two children and a partner/friend. Conversely, mothers’ interactional mind-mindedness was found to be highly consistent across relationships with two children. Mothers’ representational and interactional mind-mindedness were not consistently related to their psychological mindedness or to child temperament and behaviour. Representational and interactional measures of mind-mindedness were unrelated. Conclusion: Support was found for mothers’ representational mind-mindedness as a relational construct and mothers’ interactional mind-mindedness as a trait. However, neither was associated with child temperament and behaviour or reflected a general tendency in the mother to consider psychological factors. The results suggest that representational and interactional maternal mind-mindedness are discrete and should be viewed as different constructs. The theoretical, methodological and practical implications of these findings are discussed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available