The regulation of maternal intensity of stimulation and infant engagement
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This study explored the interpersonal influence processes which govern the systems of infant engagement and maternal intensity of handling stimulation. The videotaped face-to-face play interactions of 14 mothers and their 3-4 month old female infants were coded by microanalysis. A scale was designed to differentiate qualitative variations in maternal intensity of handling stimulation. Infant engagement was coded by changes in orientation, gaze, and facial expression. The data was analyzed across a two second sampling unit. Time-series regression analysis (TSR) was used to determine the extent to which each partner was influenced by her own behavior (self-influence) and by her partner's behavior.;Maternal intensity of handling stimulation coordinates with infant engagement in over half of the dyads. A strong pattern of coordination was found in the current sampling unit of both partners (at lag-0). However, there was only a marginally significant pattern of one-way influence (both mother influencing infant and infant influencing mother) among the dyads (at lag t-1). Robust self-influence (autocorrelation) was found in every infant and in every mother.