Infants and toddlers spend a substantial amount of their time in out-of-home care, and are thus being tended to not only by their mothers but also by their caregivers. It is therefore of considerable importance to study the effects of caregiver-infant compared to mother-infant interactions. To address this issue, first, various variables of caregiver-infant and mother-infant interaction were assessed in a group of participants at approximately 2 years of age. Then, 9 years later, their cognitive, social and emotional functions were evaluated. A substantially larger range of child outcome measures was found to be associated with the quality of caregiver-infant interactions compared to the quality of mother-infant interactions. Concomitantly, the level of parental education was found to be a prominent cofactor in exhibiting strong correlations with child outcome measures. These findings suggest that interaction with a caregiver may have more predictive value for developmental outcomes than previously appreciated.
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- Mother-infant interaction
- caregiver-infant interaction
- cognitive outcomes
- emotional outcomes
- social outcomes
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology