First Advisor

Leslie J. Munson

Term of Graduation

Spring 2007

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership: Special and Counselor Education


Educational Leadership




Maternal health services, Mother and infant, Social acceptance



Physical Description

1 online resource (2, vi, 216 pages)


Social-emotional skill acquisition in infancy can effect positive outcomes in all developmental domains as the child matures. Caregiver/infant interaction provides a critical context for positive social-emotional development in the infant (i.e., attachment, emotional regulation, communication). Within interaction, these three areas of infant social-emotional development are fostered by the dyadic relationship between caregiver and infant. However, infant skill acquisition within these areas of social-emotional development may be interrupted by risk factors in the caregiving environment. Four maternal risk factors (i.e., mental health, literacy level, age, income) associated with a negative impact on developmental outcome and on interaction were the focus of this study.

Interactions during feeding and playing of 11 mother/infant (less than 12 months old) dyads were evaluated using qualitative and quantitative methods. Analysis of interactive behaviors indicated limited dyadic maternal behaviors of turn taking, directing intentional communication, providing playful routines, imitating behaviors, and using positive verbalizations. Infant dyadic behavioral concerns were initiating interactions, taking turns, participating, displaying playful behaviors, and imitating behaviors.


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