Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: https://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.779129
Title: Investigating the role of maternal sensitivity in the impact of antenatal stress on infant temperament
Author: Roberts, Cassandra
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2018
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Abstract:
Aims: This study aimed to expand knowledge about the pathways between antenatal stress and infant temperament, with a rarely studied population; young, economically disadvantaged mothers and babies. More specifically, the aim of the current study was to investigate the role that maternal sensitivity plays in the pathway between antenatal stress and infant difficult temperament at 12 months postpartum. The current study also investigated the potential mediating and moderating role of maternal sensitivity. Methods: As part of a joint project, the current study involved participants from a study of a community home-visiting programme at the 12 months' follow-up point. The sample size included 98 participants for antenatal depression and anxiety baseline scores, 86 for overall postnatal maternal sensitivity and 95 for infant temperament scores at 12 months postpartum. Video-recorded interactions were coded for maternal sensitivity using the NICHD sensitivity scales. The data included maternal mental health variables (anxiety and depression), infant development (temperament) and maternal sensitivity. The data were analysed using a regression-based path-analytic framework, involving the principles of mediation and moderation analysis. Results: Maternal antenatal anxiety and depression were not significantly correlated with infant temperament at 12 months. A significant negative correlation was found between antenatal depression and overall maternal sensitivity. A non-significant correlation was found between antenatal anxiety and overall maternal sensitivity. Neither antenatal depression nor anxiety were found to be significant independent predictors of infant temperament at 12 months. The results showed that antenatal depression was a significant independent predictor of maternal sensitivity, but antenatal anxiety was not. Maternal sensitivity did not mediate the pathway between antenatal stress and infant temperament at 12 months. Maternal sensitivity did not moderate the effects of antenatal stress on infant temperament at 12 months. Conclusions: This was one of the first studies to investigate the potential mediating or moderating role of the postnatal environment, using a high-risk sample. A significant association was found between antenatal depression and maternal sensitivity at 12 months, but further research is warranted to investigate the role of maternal sensitivity in a larger sample.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.779129  DOI: Not available
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