Transactional relationships between perceived family style, risk status, and mother-child interactions in two-year-olds

Keith A. Crnic, Mark T. Greenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Groups of mother-preterm (N=26) and mother-full-term (N=34) infant pairs were followed longitudinally from 1 to 24 months corrected age. Measures of maternal attitudes, psychosocial factors, and family demographics were collected at 1, 8, and 18 months, mother-infant behavioral interactions were observed at 4, 8, 12, and 24 months, and infant developmental assessments were conducted at 4, 12, and 24 months. At 24 months, mothers' perception of their family systems was assessed. Results indicated that groups of mother-preterm and mother-full-term infants did not differ in perception of family style or in behavioral interactions at age 2. Correlations between family style and mother-infant behavior at age 2, however, indicated that family style was related significantly more often to measures of mother preterm interaction than mother-full-term interaction. Early maternal attitudes, psychosocialfactors (e.g., social support), and behavioral interactions were related to family style at age 2 for both groups, although again relationships were more often found in the preterm groups. The results are discussed within a transactional framework, suggesting the differential importance of family functioning to high-risk infant development and parent-child relationships. The results also suggest that certain social con texts are specifically related to the development of the family system in both risk and nonrisk groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)343-362
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of pediatric psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1987

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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