The Relation Between Social Support, Infant Risk Status and Mother-Infant Interaction

Candice Feiring, Nathan A. Fox, John Jaskir, Michael Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to describe the nature of the social support network of mothers from inner-city, poor families with high-risk infants and to examine the relation between the mother's social support network and maternal behavior. When their infants were 3 months of age, mothers were interviewed concerning sources of support (e.g., fathers, relatives, and friends) and type of support received (i.e., goods, services, advice, and financial support). Observations of the mother-infant interaction in a free-play setting were also obtained. Results revealed that goods was the type of support most frequently mentioned, and relatives were mentioned as giving support more often than friends. Mothers of premature infants reported fewer people giving goods than mothers of term infants. The results of this study also indicated that source and type of support to mother were important factors for understanding maternal behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)400-405
Number of pages6
JournalDevelopmental psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1987

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Demography
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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