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Karolinska Institute.
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2011 (English)In: INFANT MENTAL HEALTH JOURNAL, ISSN 0163-9641, Vol. 32, no 2, 207-231 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Mother infant relationship disturbances occur in three domains: maternal distress, infant functional problems, and relationship difficulties. They constitute common clinical problems. In Sweden, they are usually handled by nurses as part of public Child Health Centre care. Severe cases are referred to child psychiatry services. This randomized controlled trial compared two groups of mother infant dyads in a Stockholm sample. One received only Child Health Centre care (the "CHCC" group) while the other received mother infant psychoanalytic treatment plus CHCC (the "MIP" group). Eighty dyads of mothers and infants under I years of age where the mothers had serious concerns about themselves in their role as mothers, their infants well-being, or the mother baby relationship were randomly selected for either the MIP or the CHCC group. The primary outcomes were mother-reported depression, mother-reported infant functional problems, and interviewer-based relationship assessments, all at 6 months after joining the project. Secondary outcomes were mother-reported stress and general psychic distress, externally rated video-recorded interactions, and the consumption of healthcare at the CHC, again all after 6 months. Intent-to-treat analyses of Treatment x Time effects significantly favored MIP treatment for maternal depression, mother infant relationships, and maternal sensitivity. Effects were nearly significant on maternal stress, but nonsignificant on mother-reported infant functional problems, general psychic distress, maternal interactive structuring and nonintrusiveness, infant responsiveness and involvement, and healthcare consumption. MIP treatment improved mother infant relationships and maternal sensitivity and depression, all of which are known to influence child development. If effects persist and are reproduced, MIP treatment holds promise for more widespread use.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
John Wiley and Sons, Ltd , 2011. Vol. 32, no 2, 207-231 p.
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-67559DOI: 10.1002/imhj.20291ISI: 000288687100004OAI: diva2:411246
Available from: 2011-04-18 Created: 2011-04-18 Last updated: 2011-04-18

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Sandell, Rolf
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Department of Behavioural Sciences and LearningFaculty of Arts and Sciences
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