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Mutual Touch during Mother-Infant Face-to-Face Still-Face Interactions: Influences of Interaction Period and Infant Birth Status

Title:

Mutual Touch during Mother-Infant Face-to-Face Still-Face Interactions: Influences of Interaction Period and Infant Birth Status

Mantis, Irene (2012) Mutual Touch during Mother-Infant Face-to-Face Still-Face Interactions: Influences of Interaction Period and Infant Birth Status. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

Contact behaviours such as touch, have been shown to be influential channels of nonverbal communication between mothers and infants. While existing research has examined the communicative roles of maternal or infant touch in isolation, mutual touch, whereby touching behaviours occur simultaneously between mothers and their infants, has yet to be examined.
The present study was designed to investigate mutual touch during face-to-face interactions between mothers and their 5 ½ -month-old full-term (n = 40), very low birth weight/preterm (VLBW/preterm; n = 40) infants, and infants at psychosocial risk (n = 41).
Objectives were to examine: (1) how the quantitative and qualitative aspects of touch employed by mothers and their infants varied across the normal periods of the still-face (SF) procedure and how these were associated with risk status, and (2) the association between co-touch and the quality of the mother-child relationship.
Mutual touch was systematically coded using the Co-Touch Scale (Mantis, Ng, Stack, 2010). Interactions were found to largely consist of mutual contact and mutual touch, highlighting that active co-touching is pervasive during mother-infant interactions. Consistent with the literature, while the SF period did not negatively affect the amount of mutual touch engaged in for mothers and their full-term infants and mothers and their infants at psychosocial risk, it did for mothers and their VLBW/preterm infants. Together, results illuminate how both mothers and infants participate in shaping and co-regulating their
interactions through the use of touch and underscore the contribution of examining the impact of birth status on mutual touch.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Psychology
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Mantis, Irene
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Psychology
Date:July 2012
Thesis Supervisor(s):Stack, Dale
Keywords:Mother-infant interaction; touch; non-verbal communication; face-to-face interactions
ID Code:974674
Deposited By:IRENE MANTIS
Deposited On:30 Oct 2012 11:20
Last Modified:30 Oct 2012 11:20
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