A Longitudinal Study of Maternal Postnatal Bonding and Psychosocial Factors that Contribute to Social-Emotional Development

E Rusanen, A R Lahikainen, E Vierikko, P Pölkki, E J Paavonen

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Abstract

In this longitudinal study, we examined how maternal bonding and psycho-social factors are associated with social-emotional problems in two-year-old children. Our data came from a birth cohort from which data were collected at four timepoints: prenatally during the third trimester, and postnatally at 3, 8 and 24 months. The participants were 1,667 mothers, of which 943 (56.6%) returned the questionnaire at each timepoint of the longitudinal study. The Children's social-emotional problems were examined using the Brief Infant-Toddler Social and Emotional Assessment. According to linear regression analysis, maternal bonding difficulties at three and eight months, maternal expectations of the unborn baby during pregnancy, and maternal relationships within and outside the family were related to social-emotional problems in children of two years of age. The results highlight the importance of screening mothers who already prenatally have bonding problems or mothers who have bonding problems postnatally to provide effective and targeted intervention support.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCHILD PSYCHIATRY AND HUMAN DEVELOPMENT
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 Jul 2022
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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  • Publication forum level 1

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