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Maternal responsivity to infants in the "High Chair" assessment: Longitudinal relations with toddler outcomes in a diverse, low-income sample
Infant-parent interactions occur across many situations, yet most home-based assessments of parenting behaviors are conducted under conditions of low stress, such as free play. In this study, low-income mothers from the Early Head Start Research and Evaluation Project were observed at home interacting with their 14-month-olds in the mildly stressful "High Chair" assessment (n = 1718 dyads). This methodological study tested whether High Chair maternal responsiveness and detachment predicted later toddler cognitive and emotion outcomes, over and above equivalent maternal predictors during free play. High Chair responsiveness and detachment were significant, although modest, predictors of child cognitive and emotion outcomes, over and above maternal responsiveness and detachment during free play; except High Chair responsiveness did not predict the emotion outcome. There were no significant differences between ethnic groups in prediction of outcomes. Results are discussed in terms of the methodological value of assessing parenting behaviors across diverse situations and populations. (author abstract)
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