Interactions of African American Infants and Their Mothers Relations With Development at 1 Year of Age Research Article
Research Article  |   August 01, 1998
Interactions of African American Infants and Their Mothers
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Ina F. Wallace
    Research Triangle Institute University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Albert Einstein College of Medicine
  • Joanne E. Roberts
    Frank Porter Graham Child Development Center University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
  • Diane E. Lodder
    Frank Porter Graham Child Development Center University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
  • Contact author: Ina F. Wallace, PhD, Research Triangle Institute, Center for Research in Education, PO Box 12194, Research Triangle Park, NC, 27709-2194.
Article Information
Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   August 01, 1998
Interactions of African American Infants and Their Mothers
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 1998, Vol. 41, 900-912. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4104.900
History: Received November 14, 1996 , Accepted November 6, 1997
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 1998, Vol. 41, 900-912. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4104.900
History: Received November 14, 1996; Accepted November 6, 1997

The relationships between aspects of mother-infant interaction and both communication and cognitive skills at 1 year of age were examined in 92 African American dyads, of whom 64 (70%) fell below the poverty line. Ratings of warmth, sensitivity, responsiveness, encouragement of initiative, stimulation, and elaborativeness during a semistructured play interaction were correlated with measures of global cognition, expressive and receptive communication, and communication use. The overall quality of the home environment and maternal ratings of stimulation and elaborativeness were the most consistent correlates of infant communication measures. Relationships were stronger in middle-income than lower-income dyads. These results support the linkage of didactic and functional aspects of maternal behavior to cognitive and communication skills at 1 year of age for African American infants.

Acknowledgments
This study was supported in part by the Maternal and Child Health Program (MCH-370599, and MCH-370649 Title V, Social Security Act), Health Resources and Services Administration, Department of Health and Human Services. We acknowledge Margaret Burchinal and Elizabeth Gunn for assistance with data analysis; Lynn Medley, Susan Zeisel, Rhodus Riggins, and Brenda Davis for their assistance in data collection; Sarah Henderson for her typing assistance, and the families and children participating in this study. We also would like to acknowledge the assistance of two anonymous reviewers who provided helpful comments about the manuscript.
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