The present study examined infant negativity and maternal symptomatology by term status in a predominately low-income, rural sample of 132 infants (66 late-preterm) and their mothers. Late-preterm and term infants were group-matched by race, income, and maternal age. Maternal depression and anxiety symptoms were measured with the Brief Symptom Inventory 18 (BSI-18) when infants were 2 and 6 months of age. Also at 6 months, infant negativity was assessed by global observer ratings, maternal ratings, and microanalytic behavioral coding of fear and frustration. Results indicate that after controlling for infant age, late-preterm status predicted higher ratings of infant negativity by mothers, but not by global observers or microanalytic coding, despite a positive association in negativity across the three measures. Further, mothers of late-preterm infants reported more elevated and chronic co-morbid symptoms of depression and anxiety, which in turn, was related to concurrent maternal ratings of their infant's negativity. Mothers' response to late-preterm birth and partiality in the assessment of their infant's temperament is discussed.
- Infant negativity
- Late-preterm birth
- Maternal depression/anxiety
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology