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The Mindedness of Maternal Touch: An Investigation of Maternal Mind-Mindedness and Mother-Infant Touch Interactions

Crucianelli, L; Wheatley, L; Filippetti, ML; Jenkinson, P; Kirk, E; Fotopoulou, A; (2019) The Mindedness of Maternal Touch: An Investigation of Maternal Mind-Mindedness and Mother-Infant Touch Interactions. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience , 35 pp. 47-56. 10.1016/j.dcn.2018.01.010. Green open access

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Abstract

Increasing evidence shows that maternal touch may promote emotion regulation in infants, however less is known about how parental higher-order social cognition abilities are translated into tactile, affect-regulatory behaviours towards their infants. During 10 min book-reading, mother-infant sessions when infants were 12 months old (N = 45), we investigated maternal mind-mindedness (MM), the social cognitive ability to understand an infant’s mental state, by coding the contingency of maternal verbal statements towards the infants’ needs and desires. We also rated spontaneous tactile interactions in terms of their emotional contingency. We found that frequent non-attuned mind-related comments were associated with touch behaviours that were not contingent with the infant’s emotions; ultimately discouraging affective tactile responses from the infant. However, comments that were more appropriate to infant’s mental states did not necessarily predict more emotionally-contingent tactile behaviours. These findings suggest that when parental high-order social cognitive abilities are compromised, they are also likely to translate into inappropriate, tactile attempts to regulate infant’s emotions.

Type: Article
Title: The Mindedness of Maternal Touch: An Investigation of Maternal Mind-Mindedness and Mother-Infant Touch Interactions
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.dcn.2018.01.010
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dcn.2018.01.010
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/BY-NC-ND/4.0/)
Keywords: Mind-mindedness, Mother-infant interaction, Maternal touch, Infant touch, Contingency
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10042019
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