Document Detail

Some origins of the 'difficult' child: the Brazelton scale and the mother's view of her new-born's character.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  7059536     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Thirty-two mothers and their new-born babies were studied in order to consider, in a limited way, the manner in which a mother comes to attribute personality traits to her infant. The child's expected 'difficulty' was rated by means of a standardized inventory. In addition, a semi-structured interview was conducted with the mother, and her baby was examined by means which have been described by Brazelton. The circumstances of birth were taken from hospital records. Mothers who did not expect the child to be difficult showed a 'general flexibility' which probably related to coping ability. Babies who were seen as unlikely to be difficult had high scores on 'state control' and 'physiological response to stress'. These measures include ratings for habituation and seem to reflect an efficient means of dealing with stimuli. These infantile factors did not correlate with the maternal one, suggesting that a genetic explanation of the findings was not likely. The effect of the circumstances of birth was not strong, but medication level seemed important. The transcripts of the mothers' interviews were consistent with the view that the mother's assessment of her infant's character was not only influenced by a fine observation of the infant's behaviour but also by something like 'projective identification'. The transcripts also suggested that mechanisms which have been seen as important in the development of identity in adolescence may be operating from the first days of life.
R Meares; R Penman; J Milgrom-Friedman; K Baker
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The British journal of medical psychology     Volume:  55     ISSN:  0007-1129     ISO Abbreviation:  Br J Med Psychol     Publication Date:  1982 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1982-05-27     Completed Date:  1982-05-27     Revised Date:  2004-11-17    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0370640     Medline TA:  Br J Med Psychol     Country:  ENGLAND    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  77-86     Citation Subset:  IM    
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MeSH Terms
Identification (Psychology)
Infant, Newborn / psychology*
Mothers / psychology*

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