Maternal Mind-Mindedness and Children’s Behavioral Difficulties: Mitigating the Impact of Low Socioeconomic Status
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- Meins, E., Centifanti, L.C.M., Fernyhough, C. et al. J Abnorm Child Psychol (2013) 41: 543. doi:10.1007/s10802-012-9699-3
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Relations between mothers’ tendency to comment appropriately on their 8-month-olds’ internal states (mind-mindedness) and children’s behavioral difficulties (Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire) at ages 44 and 61 months were investigated in a socially diverse sample (N = 171, 88 boys). Controlling for maternal depressive symptoms, perceived social support, sensitivity, child language ability, and child gender, maternal mind-mindedness was negatively related to children’s externalizing and internalizing behaviors specifically in low socioeconomic status (SES) families. Furthermore, behavioral difficulties at age 44 months mediated the relation between maternal mind-mindedness and behavioral difficulties at age 61 months, but only for low SES families. These findings are discussed with reference to possible ways in which mind-mindedness could inform interventions targeted at at-risk groups.