Child Psychiatry & Human Development

, Volume 44, Issue 6, pp 751–765

Maternal Sensitivity and Internalizing Problems: Evidence from Two Longitudinal Studies in Early Childhood

Authors

  • Rianne Kok
    • Centre for Child and Family StudiesLeiden University
    • The Generation R Study GroupErasmus University Medical Center
    • Department of Child and Adolescent PsychiatryErasmus University Medical Center-Sophia Children’s Hospital
  • Mariëlle Linting
    • Centre for Child and Family StudiesLeiden University
    • Centre for Child and Family StudiesLeiden University
  • Marinus H. van IJzendoorn
    • Centre for Child and Family StudiesLeiden University
    • School of Pedagogical and Educational SciencesErasmus University
  • Vincent W. V. Jaddoe
    • The Generation R Study GroupErasmus University Medical Center
    • Department of EpidemiologyErasmus University Medical Center
    • Department of PediatricsErasmus University Medical Center
  • Albert Hofman
    • Department of EpidemiologyErasmus University Medical Center
  • Frank C. Verhulst
    • Department of Child and Adolescent PsychiatryErasmus University Medical Center-Sophia Children’s Hospital
  • Henning Tiemeier
    • Department of Child and Adolescent PsychiatryErasmus University Medical Center-Sophia Children’s Hospital
    • Department of EpidemiologyErasmus University Medical Center
    • Department of PsychiatryErasmus University Medical Center
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10578-013-0369-7

Cite this article as:
Kok, R., Linting, M., Bakermans-Kranenburg, M.J. et al. Child Psychiatry Hum Dev (2013) 44: 751. doi:10.1007/s10578-013-0369-7

Abstract

The goal of this study is to clarify the relation between maternal sensitivity and internalizing problems during the preschool period. For this purpose, a longitudinal, bidirectional model was tested in two large prospective, population-based cohorts, the Generation R Study and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development (NICHD SECCYD), including over 1,800 mother–child dyads in total. Maternal sensitivity was repeatedly observed in mother–child interaction tasks and information on child internalizing problems was obtained from maternal reports. Modest but consistent associations between maternal sensitivity and internalizing problems were found in both cohorts, confirming the importance of sensitive parenting for positive development in the preschool years. Pathways from maternal sensitivity to child internalizing problems were consistently observed but child-to-mother pathways were only found in the NICHD SECCYD sample.

Keywords

Maternal sensitivityInternalizing problemsLongitudinalBidirectional

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013