The Comparison of Temperament of 3-12 Month Infants of Mothers with and without Mental Health

Document Type: Original Article

Authors

1 General Psychologist

2 Assistant Professor of Psychology, Facuty of f Humanities , Tarbiat Moddares University, Tehran, Iran

Abstract

Background & Aims: The quality of interaction between mother and infant has an important role in the formation of infant's personality, social and cognitive functions, temperament and mental health in future. The quality of this reaction is not predictable and can be improved along the time. Thus, Knowing effective variables in this area can be very beneficial in its improvement. Method: In the present research, 30 infants whose mothers were mentally normal based on General Health Questionnaire were compared with 30 infants of mothers who were not healthy by Infant Behavior Questionnaire. These two groups were compared in negative affectivity, surgency/extraversion and orienting/regulation. Results: After using independent t-test, all three hypotheses of the study were proved with the significant level of a=0.05. The most effect of mother's mental health was on orienting/regulation and then on surgency/extraversion and negative affectivity. In the next stage, comparing all 14 temperament items separately showed that except for items of fear, perceptual sensivity, activity level and duration of orienting, two groups have significant difference in other items. Conclusion: Mother's mental health significantly affects infant temperament. These findings in agreement with past results indicate that mother's mental distress in pregnancy period and after this period can have long lasting effects on child's process of evolution and temperament.

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