Published in Early Human Development, Volume 154, March 1, 2021.
The definitive version is available at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.earlhumdev.2021.105305.
Background: Previous research suggests parents' use of technological devices, such as TV and mobile devices, within family contexts may decrease the quality of parent-child interactions. During early infancy, mothers report engaging with technological devices during infant feeding and care interactions, however, few studies have explored potential associations between maternal technology use and the quality of mother-to-infant attachment.
Aim: To examine associations between maternal technology use during mother-infant interactions and indicators of mother-to-infant attachment during early infancy.
Study design: Cross-sectional survey.
Methods: Mothers (n = 332) of infants aged 2 to 6 months were recruited via MTurk, a crowdsourcing platform, to participate in an online survey. Participants responded to a series of validated questionnaires that assessed maternal technology use during mother-infant interactions (Maternal Distraction Questionnaire), infant temperament (Infant Behavior Questionnaire-Revised Very Short Form), and indicators of mother-to-infant attachment, including quality of attachment, absence of hostility toward motherhood, and pleasure in mother-infant interactions (Maternal Postnatal Attachment Questionnaire).
Results: Greater technology use during mother-infant interactions was significantly associated with greater infant negative affectivity (β = 0.26, p < .0001). Greater technology use was also significantly associated with lower mother-to-infant attachment quality (β = −0.21, p = .0001), and greater hostility toward motherhood (β = −0.39, p < .0001). Associations between technology use and indicators of mother-to-infant attachment were not mediated by infant negative affectivity.
Conclusions: Maternal technology use was associated with greater perceptions of infant negative affectivity and poorer mother-to-infant attachment quality; further research is needed to understand mechanisms underlying these associations.
Kinesiology | Public Health
© 2021 The Authors.
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