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1. Childrens social and behavioral development is also linked to
the quality of care provided by their mothers
Children who received more sensitive care from their mothers as
preschoolers tend to have stronger social skills as first graders. Maternal
sensitivity in mother-child interactions from infancy through the pre-school
years was the strongest and most consistent predictor of childrens social
skills and behaviors throughout childhood. The more sensitive a mother was,
the better the outcomes. All other predictors including family environment,
socioeconomic status, maternal education, and child care quality, amount
and type were less consistent predictors.
(National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Early Child Care
Research Network, Social Functioning in First Grade: Associations with
Earlier Home and Child Care Predictors with Current Classroom Experiences,
Child Development 74, No. 6 (November/December 2003): 1639-1662.)
2. Impact of Negative Behaviour of Mother on Infant
Infants of depressed mothers differ moreover from infants of non-depressed
mothers in their interactive behavior. They have been found to show gaze,
avoidance vocalize less and be less positive (Field 1984, Cohn et al. 1990,
Cooper et al. 1999) and their depressed style of interacting is not specific
to the interactions with their depressed mothers but in time will be apparent
even when interacting with a non-depressed adult (Field 1992).
(Early MotherInfant Interaction, p. 23, Academic Dissertation, University of
Tampere, 2006)
Disrupted mother-infant interactions have been reported in other psychiatric
disorders. Crandell and colleagues (2003) examined mothers with a
borderline personality disorder interacting with their two-month-old infants.
They reported that, compared to controls, mothers with borderline
personality disorder were more insensitive and intrusive and that during a
challenging situation of emotional conflict and difficulty (the still-face

procedure, Tronick et al. 1978) the infants of impaired mothers became less
positive in affect and showed more dazed looks.
(Early MotherInfant Interaction, p. 24, Academic Dissertation, University of
Tampere, 2006)
3. Effect on Emotional Development
The importance of the mother-infant interaction for the emotional
development of the child is well recognized as is the fact that attachment
security is protective against poor developmental outcomes. The attachment
theory emphasizes the importance of intimate emotional bonds between
individuals. The first manifestation of such a bond is the need for physical
proximity of an infant with the caregiver. This increases the infants chance
of protection and survival and the caregiver is said to operate as a secure
base and a safe haven for the infant.
(Healthy mother-infant relationship: Assessment of risk in mothers with
serious mental illness, p.3 North Metropolitan Area Health Service, Mental
Health, WA Department of Health)
4. Effect on Academic Performance
Among five-year-olds in child care, those who received more sensitive and
stimulating care in the first three years exhibit, on average, higher cognitive
ability. Four-and-a-half-year-old children in child care who had received higher
quality (sensitive & stimulating) caregiving from six to 36 months had higher
cognitive ability scores in letter-word identification, applied problem-solving,
language comprehension, and short-term memory, regardless of concurrent
(National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Early Child Care
Research Network, Does Quality of Child Care Affect Child Outcomes at Age
4 1/2?, Developmental Psychology 39, No.3 (2003): 451-469.)
5. Mothers are strongest role models for children's education
Mothers have a greater impact on their children's educational achievements
than fathers, a new study has found. Maternal influence was found to be the

leading factor over whether children stayed on at school and went on to

study at university and to social mobility within the family.