Maternal responses to infant crying: Cultural differences, context, newborns

TitleMaternal responses to infant crying: Cultural differences, context, newborns
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsToselli M, Agostini A, Bukaci L
JournalInterdisciplinary Journal of Family Studies
Date Published06/2011
PublisherPadova University Press
Place PublishedPadova, IT
ISSN Number2282-2011
Keywordscultural differences, infant crying, maternal responses

Some authors have stressed universal features of neonatal crying and maternal responses, while others have stressed cultural specificity. This research compared maternal responses to neonatal crying, with 2 separate observations immediately after birth, using an observational grid. The efficacy of maternal behavior on infant crying was also compared. Subjects included 40 Italian, 20 Albanian and 20 Chinese mother-infant dyads in Italian hospitals. 20 additional Albanian dyads were observed in an Albanian hospital. Some meaningful differences in maternal behavior and infant crying were observed in the Italian hospitals, according to ethnicity, as well as between the Albanian dyads in Italian and Albanian hospitals. Over time, mothers tended to leave their infants in the crib less and increasingly pick them up in their arms and breastfeed them.