The Relation Between Coordinated Interpersonal Timing and Maternal Sensitivity in Four-Month-Old Infants

Amie Ashley Hane, Stanley Feldstein, Valerie H. Dernetz

The relation between mother–infant coordinated interpersonal timing, an automated microanalytic measure of dyadic vocal coordination, and maternal sensitivity was explored. Thirty-five mothers and their developmentally normal 4-month-old infants were audio-recorded during a 20-min laboratory vocal interaction session, that was later analyzed for degree of vocal coordination. Maternal Sensitivity ratings (Ainsworth & Bell, 1969) were based on a video-taped 45-min unstructured laboratory interaction period. A significant curvilinear relation between the degree to which mother coordinated her noninterruptive co-occurring speech to that of her infant was found and revealed that mothers highest in sensitivity were characterized by moderate levels of coordination. Examining mother-infant interaction at the specific behavioral level, while incorporating tests of nonlinear trends, may provide important information about the nature of sensitive parenting.

[Journal of Psycholinguistic Research. 32 (5): 525-539, September 2003 ]