Assessing Caregiver Sensitivity to Infants

Toward a Multidimensional Approach
  • Alan R. Wiesenfeld
  • Carol Zander Malatesta


Over the past 15 years, there has been a proliferation of research on parent-infant attachment. This work has generated a lively exchange of ideas among researchers of various theoretical persuasions (cf. Rajecki, Lamb, & Obmascher, 1978; Lamb & Easterbrooks, 1981). We are now faced with the challenging task of evaluating and integrating this field. In this chapter, we discuss parental sensitivity to infant cues in an expanded context of caregiver sensitivity and development. We also trace the development and application of a psychophysiological paradigm for the study of parental responsiveness to infants and present recent research in this area from our own laboratory. We then explore some of the methodological issues in the study of parental sensitivity.


Skin Conductance Response Cardiac Response Parental Sensitivity Maternal Sensitivity Parental Responsivity 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alan R. Wiesenfeld
    • 1
  • Carol Zander Malatesta
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyLivingston College, Rutgers UniversityNew BrunswickUSA
  2. 2.The Graduate FacultyNew School for Social ResearchNew YorkUSA

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