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Child Dev. 1983 Oct;54(5):1312-23.

Mother-child interactions involving two-year-olds with Down syndrome: a look at individual differences.


Individual differences in mother-child interaction patterns involving 18 2-year-olds with Down syndrome were examined. Ratings of maternal, child, and dyadic qualities observed in semistructured free play interactions were intercorrelated, and also correlated with Bayley MDI scores. Results indicated that social initiative, social responsivity, and play maturity of the children were positively intercorrelated and significantly correlated with MDI. Maternal sensitivity, elaborativeness, stimulation value, and mood were positively intercorrelated, with stimulation value being the major maternal quality found to be positively correlated with child MDI. A dyadic rating of mutuality was also positively correlated with child MDI. Of special interest was the finding that maternal directiveness and sensitivity were separable dimensions of maternal style, with directiveness as an isolated dimension found to be unrelated to MDI or to other maternal qualities. Exploratory analyses of subgroups of mothers, however, suggested that directiveness and sensitivity interrelated in a number of different patterns.

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