Mother-child interaction at 9 months and child’s attention problems at school age

Lorena Caiati 1, Elena Ierardi 1,2, Margherita Moioli 1
1Child Neuropsychiatric Unit, San Paolo Hospital of Milan,
2Department of Psychology, University of Milano-Bicocca, Milan, Italy


Poor-quality infancy parenting is a risk factor for externalizing problems in developmental periods. The aim of this longitudinal research was to evaluate association between the quality of mother-child interaction at 9 months and child’s attention disorders at school age. The participants were 27 mother-child dyads. At child 9 months, mother-infant interactions were video-recorded and codified by the Neuropsychomotor video analysis for parent and child interaction. At 6 years, Conners’ Parent Rating Scales-Revised was administered to the mothers to assess attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.
The results indicated that the quality of early dyadic interaction was related to attention disorders in subsequent development. Maternal and child nonresponsive interactive style, particularly mother’s aggressive behaviors and infant passive behaviors, were risk factors for child’s attention problems at school age. It’s necessary to carry out early screening and intervention to prevent behavior problems in children.


mother-infant interaction, attention problems, child development.

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