NIH Clinical Center Search the Studies: Study Number, Study Title

Protocol Details

Specificity of Mother-Infant Interaction: The Influence of Maternal Age, Employment Status, and Parenthood Status

This study is NOT currently recruiting participants.

Summary | Eligibility | Citations | Contacts




Sponsoring Institute

National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)

Recruitment Detail

Type: Completed Study; data analyses ongoing
Gender: Male & Female
Min Age: 5 Mo
Max Age: 23 Years

Referral Letter Required


Population Exclusion(s)



Childhood Growth and Development;
Natural History

Recruitment Keyword(s)



Child Development

Investigational Drug(s)


Investigational Device(s)




Supporting Site

National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

Research and theory tend to agree when suggesting that certain activities done by mothers have both immediate and delayed consequences for children's mental development in the first years of life.

The everyday interaction between an infant and a caregiver can be broken down into many categories. There are data linking both of these types of interaction to the mental development of children.

The study will focus on the extent to which maternal characteristics (age, employment status, parenthood status, and birth order of the child) influence the relation between maternal social and didactic caregiving and the social and mental development of children.

Mother-infant interaction will be observed when the infants are 5 months old.

When the children are 20 months old, measures of toddler function (e.g., ability to play and language development) and maternal behavior (e.g., encouragement of attention to the environment and I.Q.) will be obtained.

When the children are 48 months old, researchers will measure preschooler psychosocial functioning (e.g., I.Q., cognitive and social competencies) and maternal behavior (e.g., "scaffolding").

Understanding the relation between children's experiences as infants, toddlers, and preschoolers and their eventual intellectual and social functioning is an essential part of normal developmental research.<TAB>

--Back to Top--



All subjects are normal volunteers.

At initial recruitment, all mothers will be married women living in intact families with healthy, full-term, first-born infants. Most will be living in intact families.

Prior to inclusion in the sample, basic demographic information will be obtained for all study participants including substitute caregivers but excluding school teachers. Variables include age, race, cultural background, primary language, marital status, SES (as assessed by the Hollingshead Four-Factor Index of Social Status, 1975), and educational level. In addition, for caregivers, information about their experience caring for children and about the peer environment, including the number of children routinely present, their sexes, and their ages, will be obtained.

To the extent that the adolescent sample diverges from sample criteria with respect to marital status and SES, appropriate controls will be used.

Subjects in the Argentine-American and Japanese-American project will be selected to represent families high vs low on appropriate measures of acculturation.

The healthy second born infants of 80 mothers already enrolled in the protocol will also be recruited into the sample at the time of their birth. These infants will be selected to comprise four equal groups based on the gender composition of the sibling dyad: male/male, male/female, female/female, and female/male.

--Back to Top--


Rowe A. Characteristics of hospital care. Nurs Times. 1969 Oct 23;65(43):1376-7. PMID: 5823787.

Kuiumdzhieva A, Denchev D. Dobiv na ATF pri drozhdi ot rodovete Candida i Torulopsis, kultivirani v khemostat na sreda s metanol [ATP yield from yeasts of the genera Candida and Torulopsis cultured in a chemostat on a methanol medium]. Acta Microbiol Bulg. 1984;15:50-5. Bulgarian. PMID: 6541423.

Smith WL, Egle JL Jr, Adams MD. Adrenergic receptors in the nucleus tractus solitarii of the rat. Eur J Pharmacol. 1982 Jun 16;81(1):11-9. doi: 10.1016/0014-2999(82)90596-9. PMID: 6126366.

--Back to Top--


Principal Investigator

Referral Contact

For more information:

Diane L. Putnick, Ph.D.
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
National Institutes of Health
6555 Rock Spring Dr, Suite 220
Bethesda, Maryland 20817
(301) 496-6291

Diane L. Putnick, Ph.D.
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
National Institutes of Health
6555 Rock Spring Dr, Suite 220
Bethesda, Maryland 20817
(301) 496-6291

Office of Patient Recruitment
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC)
Building 61, 10 Cloister Court
Bethesda, Maryland 20892
Toll Free: 1-800-411-1222
Local Phone: 301-451-4383
TTY: TTY Users Dial 7-1-1

Clinical Trials Number:


--Back to Top--