Mother Infant,Toddler Relationships Nursing Care

Afza.Malik GDA

Nursing Care for Mother Infant Relationships

Mother Infant,Toddler Relationships Nursing Care

Mother-Infant/Toddler Relationships,Factors Contributing in Infant Mother Relationship,Study Outcomes,Psychological Factor in Infant Mother Relationship,How Maternal Relation Help in Child Development.

Mother-Infant/Toddler Relationships

     The study of mother-infant/toddler relation- ships centers on knowledge related to the health and development of the mother child  from birth to 3 years. 

    This focus of inquiry is necessarily large because the mother child system is an open one, responsive to genetic, biological, environmental, cognitive, and psychological influences (Institute of Medicine, 2000).

Factors Contributing in Infant Mother Relationship

    The mother-infant/toddler relationship is influenced by genetic factors such as the child's temperament. Temperament is an in born constellation of traits that affect the individual's behavioral reactions to environmental stimuli. 

    Temperamental qualities such as high intensity reactions, low adaptability to change, or shyness, influence children's abilities to regulate emotions in stressful situations, relate to other people, and adjust to changes in daily routines. 

    Similar temperamental qualities in the mother are likely to affect her ability to adjust her parenting behaviors to accommodate an unpredictable infant or a defiant 2-year-old (Gross & Conrad, 1995). 

    A poor fit between parent and infant/ toddler temperamental styles has been associated with more child behavior problems and increases in physiological indices of stress (Bugental, Olster, & Martorell, 2003).

    Biological factors can influence the child's developmental trajectory, making parenting more stressful and altering the quality of the mother infant/toddler relationship. For ex- ample, low birthweight infants with neonatal medical complications are at greater risk for later developmental, visual, physical, and behavioral disabilities (Boyce, G. C., Smith, & Casto, 1999). 

    Even in the absence of medical complications, mothers of low birthweight infants experience greater stress and care giver burden than mothers of normal birthweight infants (May & Hu, 2000). Such early biological risk can have significant effects on the quality of the mother-infant/toddler relationship.

Study Outcomes 

    The relationship between parenting, environment and the mother-infant/toddler relationship has been extensively studied, although the theory underlying cause and effect relationships remains poorly understood. 

    For example, there are many hypotheses to account for the significant associations found. between parenting in low-income environments and poorer outcomes in very young children (Duncan & Brooks-Gunn, 1997; Mistry, Vandewater, Huston, & McLloyd, 2002). 

    As a result, interventions for promoting healthy parent child relationships among low income families simultaneously target many environmental risk factors (eg, support, psychological guidance, education, nutrition, and facilitating access to community based services). 

    The complexity of the parenting environment and understanding how social contexts in early life affect young children and parents is an important but underdeveloped area of inquiry (Boyce, W. T., et al., 1998).

Psychological Factor in Infant Mother Relationship

    The psychological health of the mother and child has received much attention. Maternal stress, low social support, marital dis- cord, and maternal depression have been viewed as important factors placing young children at risk for poor developmental outcomes (Gross, Sambrook, & Fogg, 1999; Petterson & Albers, 2001). 

    Recently, researchers have shifted the focus away from unidirectional to bidirectional effects. For example, depressed mothers who are sad, preoccupied, and irritable may be unable to attend to their infant's needs or to deal calmly and effectively with their toddler's demands for attention. 

    However, it is also possible that behaviorally demanding children cause mothers to feel in effective, fatigued, and ultimately depressed. The clinical implications of viewing problems in the mother infant/toddler relationship as bidirectional is that effective nursing interventions should focus on the mother child dyad or the family unit rather than on the mother or child alone.

How Maternal Relation Help in Child Development

    In the past 10 years, greater attention has been placed on the role of race/ethnicity in the development of the mother-infant/toddler relationship. 

    Demographic trends toward greater multiculturalism and expectations for researchers to understand how parenting processes may differ across racial/ethnic groups have led to more thoughtful examinations of parenting processes among families of color (Garcia Coll et al., 1996; McLloyd, Cauce, Takeuchi, & Wilson, 2000). 

    Different family structures and childrearing values will affect how parents socialize their infants and toddlers. While all children thrive under the care of a loving and responsive parent, research has shown that there is no single way that love and attention need to be expressed. 

    Indeed, research has shown that some parenting strategies that negatively affect behavioral outcomes in European-American children ap pear to have no such effect on African-Ameri- can children (Whaley, 2000).

    Finally, maternal cognitions affect how mothers interpret and respond to their children's behavior. 

    For example, a mothers belief that using corporal punishment with her defiant 2-year-old may be based on a series of cognition related to her values about child defiance and physical punishment, cultural expectations, perceived environmental dangers, how she was raised, and her knowledge of alternative discipline strategies (Garvey, Gross, Delaney, & Fogg, 2000; Goodnow & Collins, 1990).

    Although many investigators have understandably narrowed their research to one or two conceptual areas of inquiry, the dyad is dynamically affected by all of these influences. That is, mothers identify parenting goals and devise child rearing strategies that are consistent with their temperaments, biology, child rearing environments, cognitions, and psychological capacities (Gross, 1996).

     Likewise, children's responses to parents are similarly tied to these same factors. Future research should refine how these influences transact within the parent child relationship so that research methods can be clarified and cost effective nursing interventions disseminated to populations in need.

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