Ordinary variations in human maternal caregiving in infancy and biobehavioral development in early childhood: A follow-up study

Amie Ashley Hane, Heather A. Henderson, Bethany C. Reeb-Sutherland, Nathan A. Fox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

44 Scopus citations

Abstract

Rodent models of early caregiving find that pups reared by dams providing low levels of early stimulation subsequently display heightened stress reactivity and social aggression. We examined these effects in humans by investigating the effects of early caregiving on markers of biobehavioral development at ages 2 and 3 years. This study extended the findings reported by Hane and Fox (Hane and Fox [2006] Psychol. Sci. 17: 550-556) in which 185 mothers and infants were observed and scored for variations in maternal caregiving behavior (MCB) at age 9 months. Relative to young children who received high-quality MCB in infancy, those who received low-quality MCB showed significantly higher socially inhibited behavior with adults, right frontal electroencephalographam (EEG) asymmetry, aggressive play, and maternal reported internalizing behavior problems and anger proneness. These effects were independent of early temperamental reactivity. Results parallel rodent models and demonstrate that ordinary variations in MCB influence stress reactivity and social behavior in young children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)558-567
Number of pages10
JournalDevelopmental Psychobiology
Volume52
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2010

Keywords

  • Frontal EEG asymmetry
  • Infant
  • Maternal caregiving behavior
  • Peer interactions
  • Stress reactivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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