The effect of prenatal adversity on externalizing behaviors at 24 months of age in a high-risk sample: Maternal sensitivity as a moderator

Pamela Schuetze, Danielle Molnar, Rina D. Eiden, Shannon Shisler, Junru Zhao, Craig R. Colder, Marilyn A. Huestis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the moderating role of maternal sensitivity on the association between prenatal adversity and externalizing behaviors at 24 months of age in a diverse, high-risk sample. We hypothesized that among children with higher prenatal adversity, high maternal sensitivity would serve as a protective factor. Participants were 247 primarily low-income, diverse dyads. Results indicated a significant interaction effect of maternal sensitivity and prenatal adversity on externalizing problems. The association between prenatal adversity and externalizing behaviors was significant only among children who experienced low prenatal adversity, with higher maternal sensitivity associated with lower externalizing behaviors. These findings indicate that, in the absence of high prenatal risk, responsive and sensitive parenting can buffer children in an otherwise high-risk sample from the development of externalizing behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)530-542
Number of pages13
JournalInfant Mental Health Journal
Volume41
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The effect of prenatal adversity on externalizing behaviors at 24 months of age in a high-risk sample: Maternal sensitivity as a moderator'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this