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J Fam Psychol. 2014 Feb;28(1):1-11. doi: 10.1037/a0035157. Epub 2013 Dec 30.

Maternal emotional availability during infant bedtime: an ecological framework.

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Human Development and Family Studies, The Pennsylvania State University.


Mothers' depressive symptoms, coparenting quality, maternal and infant sleep, and infant temperament during infants' first 6 months were examined as predictors of mothers' emotional availability (EA) at bedtime with their infants at 9 months. Maternal EA was assessed from video recordings of mother-infant interactions. Whereas mother-reported coparenting quality was both directly and indirectly predictive of EA, changes in depressive symptoms during the first 6 months only predicted lower EA when infants were temperamentally highly surgent. These results suggest that the influences on emotional availability during bedtime are complex, with maternal resources as well as infant temperament playing important influential roles.

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