Parental Differences in Infant-Directed Emotional Communication
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Past research on parent- infant communication has failed to examine how parents communicate emotions differently and the relationships that infant sex and infant attachment may have with parental communication. The present research examines how the emotional intensity, duration and frequency of eye contact, and duration of emotional expression are effected by their infant’s sex and the emotion expressed and correlated with the infant’s attachment to their primary caregiver. 25 parents of infants between 7 and 12 months old filmed videos in which they looked in two boxes in each of four trials and displayed positive/neutral, fearful/neutral, disgust/neutral, and neutral/neutral emotions toward the unseen contents of the boxes. Infant attachment was measured by the Waters (1987) 90-item parent questionnaire. The results suggest sex or attachment do not affect parent communication. However parents expressed a greater emotional intensity and gave eye contact more frequently in the emotion trials as compared to neutral. Findings also suggest that parents spend the most time emoting the positive emotion.
Goodman, Lynnel 1990- (2012). Parental Differences in Infant-Directed Emotional Communication. Honors and Undergraduate Research. Available electronically from