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Infant Behav Dev. 2016 May;43:13-23. doi: 10.1016/j.infbeh.2016.03.003. Epub 2016 Apr 4.

Maternal postnatal psychiatric symptoms and infant temperament affect early mother-infant bonding.

Author information

1
The FinnBrain Birth Cohort Study, Turku Brain and Mind Center, Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Turku, Finland. Electronic address: saara.nolvi@utu.fi.
2
The FinnBrain Birth Cohort Study, Turku Brain and Mind Center, Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Turku, Finland; Department of Child Psychiatry, Turku University Hospital, Finland.
3
Department of Psychology, Northern Illinois University, United States.
4
The FinnBrain Birth Cohort Study, Turku Brain and Mind Center, Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Turku, Finland; Academy of Finland, Finland.
5
The FinnBrain Birth Cohort Study, Turku Brain and Mind Center, Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Turku, Finland.
6
The FinnBrain Birth Cohort Study, Turku Brain and Mind Center, Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Turku, Finland; Department of Psychiatry, University of Turku, Finland.

Abstract

Postnatal mother-infant bonding refers to the early emotional bond between mothers and infants. Although some factors, such as maternal mental health, especially postnatal depression, have been considered in relation to mother-infant bonding, few studies have investigated the role of infant temperament traits in early bonding. In this study, the effects of maternal postnatal depressive and anxiety symptoms and infant temperament traits on mother-infant bonding were examined using both mother and father reports of infant temperament. Data for this study came from the first phase of the FinnBrain Birth Cohort Study (n=102, father reports n=62). After controlling for maternal symptoms of depression and anxiety, mother-reported infant positive emotionality, measured by infant smiling was related to better mother-infant bonding. In contrast, infant negative emotionality, measured by infant distress to limitations was related to lower quality of bonding. In regards to father-report infant temperament, only infant distress to limitations (i.e., frustration/anger) was associated with lower quality of mother-infant bonding. These findings underline the importance of infant temperament as one factor contributing to early parent-infant relationships, and counseling parents in understanding and caring for infants with different temperament traits.

KEYWORDS:

Anxiety; Infancy; Infant temperament and mother-Infant bonding; Maternal postnatal depressive and anxiety symptoms; Mother-infant bonding; Postnatal depression; Temperament

PMID:
27054496
DOI:
10.1016/j.infbeh.2016.03.003
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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