Mother-Infant Person- and Object-Directed Interactions in Latino Immigrant Families: A Comparative Approach

National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services.
Infancy (Impact Factor: 1.73). 07/2008; 13(4):338-365. DOI: 10.1080/15250000802189386
Source: PubMed


Cultural variation in durations, relations, and contingencies of mother-infant person-and object-directed behaviors were examined for 121 nonmigrant Latino mother-infant dyads in South America, Latina immigrants from South America and their infants living in the United States, and European American mother-infant dyads. Nonmigrant Latina mothers and infants engaged in person-directed behaviors longer than Latino immigrant or European American mothers and infants. Mother and infant person-directed behaviors were positively related; mother and infant object-related behaviors were related for some cultural groups but not others. Nearly all mother and infant behaviors were mutually contingent. Mothers were more responsive to infants' behaviors than infants were to mothers. Some cultural differences in responsiveness emerged. Immigrant status has a differentiated role in mother-infant interactions.

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