TEEN MOTHERS: ATTITUDES, ADAPTATION, AND MOTHER-INFANT INTERACTION
KARLIN, HELENE RENERT
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Maternal attitudes and adaptation to pregnancy and motherhood and mother-infant interaction in adolescent mothers and their newborn infants were explored. A major purpose of the study was to determine whether age differences within adolescence contribute to differences in maternal attitudes and adaptation to pregnancy and motherhood or to mother-infant interaction in the newborn period.;Another purpose of the study was to explore the relationship of maternal attitudes and adaptation to mother-infant interaction in a group of adolescent mothers. The third aspect of the study dealt with the exploration of relationships between the adolescent mother's stimulation of her infant and her infant's behavior. A final purpose of this study was to explore the relationship of other variables to maternal attitudes and adaptation and to mother-infant interaction.;A sample population of primigravidas, ages 15-20, was recruited from the outpatient obstetrics clinic of a city hospital. Maternal attitudes and adaptation were assessed by a semi-structured interview conducted during the ninth month of pregnancy and again in the early postpartum period. Mother-infant interaction was assessed by an observation of the mother feeding her infant in the early post-partum period. Data for exploring other variables were collected through the use of additional interview questions and through information gathered from medical records.;Data indicated that the mother's age was not a significantly differentiating variable with regard to maternal attitudes and adaptation or to mother-infant interaction. Limited support was offered for the hypothesis that demonstrable relationships exist between maternal attitudes and adaptation and mother-infant interaction. Two categories of mother-infant interaction (position of the infant and maternal attentiveness and sensitivity) were found to relate to overall scores on the maternal attitudes and adaptation scale. The hypothesis that the mother's stimulation of her infant will be related to her infant's behavior was supported. Maternal visual, tactile, auditory and vestibular stimulation of their infants was related to the infant's state as well as to nippling, grasping, and vocalizing behavior.;Lastly, the data indicated that a number of other variables are significantly related to maternal attitudes and adaptation and/or to mother-infant interaction.
- Theses and Dissertations