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Infant Mental Health Journal

Natasha J Cabrera, Lori Roggman
Both mothers and fathers play with their children, but research on parent-child play interactions is conducted with mothers three times more often than it is with fathers. The articles in this special issue address this gap by focusing on the nature and quality of father-child play, across cultural contexts, and considering whether father play offers something unique and special for early human development, in infancy or early childhood. The studies show that fathers can be just as developmentally supportive as are mothers in terms of being playful and engaged with their children in ways that are related to greater child socioemotional competence, emotion regulation, and vocabulary, and to less aggression, anxiety, and negativity...
November 2017: Infant Mental Health Journal
Lieselotte Ahnert, Lukas Teufl, Nina Ruiz, Bernhard Piskernik, Barbara Supper, Silke Remiorz, Alexander Gesing, Katja Nowacki
Play observations with a total of 400 toddlers and preschoolers were videotaped and rated for Intensity and Quality of play with their parents. Parents were asked about perceived stress and personality characteristics (Big 5). Child's motor, cognitive skills, temperament, and internalizing behaviors were assessed. Study 1 investigated the robustness of play across child age and gender, and examined differences between fathers and mothers. Study 2 explored the vulnerability of play with fathers of children born preterm (PT-fathers) and fathers who had experienced adverse childhoods (AC-fathers)...
November 2017: Infant Mental Health Journal
Natasha J Cabrera, Elizabeth Karberg, Jenessa L Malin, Daniela Aldoney
Using data from a diverse sample of low-income families who participated in the Early Head Start Research Evaluation Project (n = 73), we explored the association between mothers' and fathers' playfulness with toddlers, toddler's affect during play, and children's language and emotion regulation at prekindergarten. There were two main findings. First, fathers' playfulness in toddlerhood was associated with children's vocabulary skills in prekindergarten whereas mothers' playfulness was related to children's emotion regulation...
November 2017: Infant Mental Health Journal
Karlen Lyons-Ruth, Jody Todd Manly, Kai Von Klitzing, Tuula Tamminen, Robert Emde, Hiram Fitzgerald, Campbell Paul, Miri Keren, Astrid Berg, Maree Foley, Hisako Watanabe
Children worldwide experience mental and emotional disorders. Mental disorders occurring among young children, especially infants (birth -3 years), often go unrecognized. Prevalence rates are difficult to determine because of lack of awareness and difficulty assessing and diagnosing young children. Existing data, however, suggest that rates of disorders in young children are comparable to those of older children and adolescents (von Klitzing, Dohnert, Kroll, & Grube, ). The lack of widespread recognition of disorders of infancy is particularly concerning due to the unique positioning of infancy as foundational in the developmental process...
November 2017: Infant Mental Health Journal
Mirjana MajdandžIć
The diverse set of studies in this special issue on fathers' play includes empirical research from several countries, observational measures of play, and multiple children's outcomes, including language, negativity, social competence, aggression and internalizing problems. The chief conclusion across studies is that the role of paternal play is important in various domains of child development. This is encouraging, yet also disturbing given the results of the State of the World's Fathers: Time for Action report 2017, revealing the low amount of care fathers provide to their children worldwide, relative to mothers...
November 2017: Infant Mental Health Journal
Jill M Popp, Bo Stjerne Thomsen
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
November 2017: Infant Mental Health Journal
Atara Menashe-Grinberg, Naama Atzaba-Poria
Based on the premise that father-child play is an important context for children's development and that fathers "specialize" in play, similarities and differences in the role of playfulness in the father-child and mother-child relationship were examined. Participants in this study included 111 families (children's age: 1-3 years). Father-child and mother-child play interactions were videotaped and coded for parental playfulness, sensitivity, structuring, and nonintrusiveness as well as child negativity. Results indicated that mothers and fathers did not differ in playfulness and that mothers and fathers who were higher in playfulness had children with lower levels of negativity...
November 2017: Infant Mental Health Journal
Jennifer Stgeorge, Emily Freeman
Although there is increasing evidence of paternal influence on child outcomes such as language and cognition, researchers are not yet clear on the features of father-child play that are most valuable in terms of child development. Physical play such as rough and tumble play (RTP) is a favored type of father-child play in Western societies that has been linked to children's socioemotional competence. It is important, therefore, to determine the implications of this play for child development. In this review and meta-analysis, associations between father-child physical play and child behavior were examined...
November 2017: Infant Mental Health Journal
Sheila Anderson, Wei Qiu, Shanalyn J Wheeler
The purpose of this study was to explore the influence of the quality of early father-child rough-and-tumble play (RTP) on toddler aggressive behaviors and more fully understand how child, mother, and father characteristics were associated with higher quality father-child RTP among contemporary urban Chinese families. Participants included 42 families in Changsha, China. Play observations of fathers and their children were coded for RTP quality. The specific RTP quality of father-child reciprocity of dominance was associated with fewer toddler aggressive behaviors, as rated by both fathers and mothers...
November 2017: Infant Mental Health Journal
Catherine McMahon, Anna Huber, Jane Kohlhoff, Anna-Lisa Camberis
This article evaluated whether attendance at Circle of Security training workshops resulted in attendees showing greater empathy and attachment-related knowledge and understanding, and fewer judgmental responses to viewing a stressful parent-child interaction. Participants were 202 practitioners who attended and completed a 2-day (n = 70), 4-day (n = 105), or 10-day (n = 27) COS training workshop in Australia or New Zealand in 2015. In a pre/post design, participant reactions to a video clip of a challenging parent-child interaction were coded for empathic, judgmental, or attachment-focused language...
September 2017: Infant Mental Health Journal
Sanna Isosävi, Safwat Y Diab, Samuli Kangaslampi, Samir Qouta, Saija Kankaanpää, Kaija Puura, Raija-Leena Punamäki
We examined how diverse and cumulated traumatic experiences predicted maternal prenatal mental health and infant stress regulation in war conditions and whether maternal mental health mediated the association between trauma and infant stress regulation. Participants were 511 Palestinian mothers from the Gaza Strip who reported exposure to current war trauma (WT), past childhood emotional (CEA) and physical abuse, socioeconomic status (SES), prenatal mental health problems (posttraumatic stress disorder and depression symptoms), and perceived stress during their secondtrimester of pregnancy as well as infant stress regulation at 4 months...
September 2017: Infant Mental Health Journal
Hilary A Warner, Robert B McCall, Christina J Groark, Kevin H Kim, Rifkat J Muhamedrahimov, Oleg I Palmov, Natalia V Nikiforova
This report describes a secondary analysis of data from a comprehensive intervention project which included training and structural changes in three Baby Homes in St. Petersburg, Russian Federation. Multiple mediator models were tested according to the R.M. Baron and D.A. Kenny () causal-steps approach to examine whether caregiver-child interaction quality, number of caregiver transitions, and group size mediated the effects of the intervention on children's attachment behaviors and physical growth. The study utilized a subsample of 163 children from the original Russian Baby Home project, who were between 11 and 19 months at the time of assessment...
September 2017: Infant Mental Health Journal
Joyce J Endendijk, Anouk T C E De Bruijn, Hedwig J A Van Bakel, Hennie A A Wijnen, Victor J M Pop, Anneloes L Van Baar
The role of mother-infant interaction quality is studied in the relation between prenatal maternal emotional symptoms and child behavioral problems. Healthy pregnant, Dutch women (N = 96, M = 31.6, SD = 3.3) were allocated to the "exposed group" (n = 46), consisting of mothers with high levels of prenatal feelings of anxiety and depression, or the "low-exposed group" (n = 50), consisting of mothers with normal levels of depressive or anxious symptoms during pregnancy. When the children (49 girls, 47 boys) were 23 to 60 months of age (M = 39...
August 26, 2017: Infant Mental Health Journal
Jason T Hustedt, Jennifer A Vu, Kaitlin N Bargreen, Rena A Hallam, Myae Han
The federal Early Head Start program provides a relevant context to examine families' experiences with stress since participants qualify on the basis of poverty and risk. Building on previous research that has shown variations in demographic and economic risks even among qualifying families, we examined possible variations in families' perceptions of stress. Family, parent, and child data were collected to measure stressors and risk across a variety of domains in families' everyday lives, primarily from self-report measures, but also including assay results from child cortisol samples...
August 26, 2017: Infant Mental Health Journal
Katherine W Paschall, Melissa A Barnett, Ann M Mastergeorge, Jennifer A Mortensen
The reciprocal transactions that shape early parent-child relationships are influenced by contextual stress, such as family conflict. Although family conflict is a salient stressor to the family system, few studies have considered how parent-child transactions vary according to exposure to family conflict. The present study examined how family conflict alters early parent-child behavioral transactions. We utilized three waves of data from a multisite longitudinal study of low-income families (N = 2, 876), child age 14 months, 24 months, and 36 months, to identify behavioral transactions of positive and negative maternal (supportiveness, negative regard) and child (engagement, negativity) behaviors...
August 26, 2017: Infant Mental Health Journal
Dawson Cooke, Lynn Priddis, Patrick Luyten, Garth Kendall, Robert Cavanagh
While past research on the care of infants has been mostly with mothers, in recent times there has been a renewed attention to the father-infant relationship. This study examined differences between mother and father parental reflective functioning (PRF) or parental mentalizing; that is, the parental capacity to reason about their own and their children's behaviors by taking into consideration intentional mental states. Data were collected from 120 couples with a 1-year-old child who were participants in the West Australian Peel Child Health Study...
August 21, 2017: Infant Mental Health Journal
Jennifer L Farley, Ellen E Whipple
The expansion of infant mental health (IMH) to at-risk preschoolers and their families has contributed to the integration of relational play therapy (RPT) into IMH treatment services for this population. Integrating RPT allows access to specialized play and expressive techniques specific to preschool and family development, which improves the clinical ability to meet the multiple and complex needs of at-risk parent-child dyads and their families. This article will examine the RPT literature and explore the similarities and differences between IMH and RPT...
August 21, 2017: Infant Mental Health Journal
Lilach Rachamim
This article highlights the feasibility of a dyadic prolonged exposure (DPE) intervention (L. Rachamim, I. Mirochnik, L. Helpman, N. Nacasch, & E. Yadin, ) in a 3-year-old preschooler and in a 6-year-old kindergartener immediately following the traumatic death of their younger sibling. It presents a detailed case description of the DPE treatment addressing traumatic grief and includes transcribed treatment dialogue. At the time of treatment termination, both children and caregivers resumed normal functioning...
August 14, 2017: Infant Mental Health Journal
Stephanie A Moberg, Rowena Ng, Dana E Johnson, Maria G Kroupina
Internationally adopted (IA) children have often experienced early adversity and are at risk for long-term deficiencies in multiple developmental domains. This study examined the association between IA children's joint attention (JA) soon after arrival and later cognitive, communicative, and socioemotional competency 6 months' postadoption. We expected a child's initial JA would positively predict later cognitive, communication, and social ability. IA children (n = 63) adopted from Eastern Europe were seen soon after their arrival into the United States to assess their JA...
August 14, 2017: Infant Mental Health Journal
Angela J Narayan, Chandra Ghosh Ippen, William W Harris, Alicia F Lieberman
This pilot study provides the first empirical test of the concept of "Angels in the Nursery" by examining whether childhood memories of benevolent caregiving experiences protect against heightened levels of psychopathology in high-risk mothers. The study hypothesized that (a) elaborated childhood memories of feeling loved by a caregiver ("angel memories") would moderate adulthood posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms in mothers with childhood maltreatment histories, and (b) spontaneous traumatic intrusions ("ghost memories") would mediate childhood maltreatment and adulthood PTSD symptoms...
July 2017: Infant Mental Health Journal
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