Interactions Between Mothers and Their Mentally Retarded Children: Integration of Research Findings

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Research findings from 20 observational studies of interactions between mothers and their retarded infants and/or young children are brought together to provide a summary picture of: (1) differences in interaction patterns between mother-non-retarded child interactions. Several conceptual and methodological issues are raised: the need to bridge the gap between our current conceptualization of the dyadic interaction process and the methodology for its study and analysis; the importance of including both CA- and MA-match comparisons to reduce confounding of results; and the place of naturalistic observations in sampling interaction pattern as targets for modification in home-based intervention programs. The review indicates that generally, mothers and their retarded children exhibit a number of problems in their interactions. It is suggested that a sound observational data base is required to facilitate the development of interventions into problematic interactions.

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Journal of applied developmental psychology, v. 5, issue 1, p. 45-69