Print version ISSN 0103-6564
FUERTES, Marina; FARIA, Anabela; SOARES, Hélia and OLIVEIRA-COSTA, Antónia. Interactional moments where emotions can be (re)learned : An exploratory study of mother and infant responses in free play situations. Psicol. USP [online]. 2010, vol.21, n.4, pp. 833-857. ISSN 0103-6564. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0103-65642010000400010.
In this study, the authors investigate mother-child interaction in free play. Brief sequences of interaction were analyzed in a sample of 99 mother-infant dyads (with no evidence of risk). The infants' ages ranged between 3 and 6 months old. Mothers' facial and vocal expression, positioning and handling, affective expression, reciprocity, directiveness and appropriateness of play were assessed. In addition, infants were observed concerning to facial, vocal and affective responses, the ability to respond reciprocally and the quality of play presented. Results showed that highly sensitive and adequate maternal behavior and its opposite - highly insensitive and inadequate - are relatively uncommon. Moreover, a great number of mothers combined sensitivity with some level of intrusion. Infants presented, in general, receptivity to mother turns, but moment's resistance and difficult behaviors were found in many cases. These findings suggest a strong association between maternal sensitivity and infant cooperation. Results were affected by several variables like: infant's sex, mother's level of education, mother's age and family social economical status.
Keywords : Mother child relations; Mother child communication; Infants; Observation methods.