Early infant temperament shapes the nature of mother-infant bonding in the first postpartum year

Lea Takács , Jan Smolik , Maria Kaźmierczak , Samuel P. Putnam


Objective: This study examined longitudinal relations between maternal bonding and infant temperament in the first nine months after birth. Design: Our sample consisted of 281 women, enrolled at five maternity hospitals, who completed questionnaires during the first week (T1), at six weeks (T2) and nine months postpartum (T3). Maternal bonding was assessed using the Mother-to-Infant Bonding Scale at T1 and T2 and the Postpartum Bonding Questionnaire at T3. Infant temperament was measured using the Infant Characteristics Questionnaire, completed by the mothers at T2 and T3. Results: The results of a path model showed a long-term effect flowing from the child to the mother, with infant temperament at T2 predicting maternal bonding at T3 over and above stability in bonding. At T3, bonding was linked more strongly to child temperament at T2 than to child temperament assessed concurrently at T3. Maternal bonding did predict infant temperament, but this was true only of bonding reported at T1 and infant temperament at T2, that is, not of bonding assessed at T2 and infant temperament at T3. Conclusion: Our results indicate that maternal bonding in the first week postpartum may temporarily affect child temperament, but infant’s temperament several weeks after birth – rather than several months postpartum – plays a pervasive role in shaping the long-lasting nature of the mother-child relationship. Our findings thus seem to support the suggestion that the early postpartum weeks represent an important period in the development of maternal bonding.
Author Lea Takács
Lea Takács,,
, Jan Smolik
Jan Smolik,,
, Maria Kaźmierczak (FSS / IPsych / DRFQL)
Maria Kaźmierczak,,
- Division of Research on Family and Quality of Life
, Samuel P. Putnam
Samuel P. Putnam,,
Journal seriesInfant Behavior and Development, [Infant Behavior and Development], ISSN 0163-6383, e-ISSN 1879-0453, (N/A 70 pkt)
Issue year2020
Publication size in sheets0.5
Article number101428
Keywords in Englishmaternal bonding, infant’s temperament, infancy, parenting
ASJC Classification3204 Developmental and Educational Psychology
URL https://doi.org/10.1016/j.infbeh.2020.101428
Languageen angielski
Score (nominal)70
Score sourcejournalList
ScoreMinisterial score = 70.0, 05-04-2020, ArticleFromJournal
Publication indicators Scopus SNIP (Source Normalised Impact per Paper): 2018 = 0.858; WoS Impact Factor: 2017 = 1.669 (2) - 2017=1.921 (5)
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