Wilberta Donovan

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48 mothers of 5-month-old infants were asked to estimate their control over the termination of an infant cry in a laboratory-simulated child-care task. Mothers who greatly overestimated their control differed from low or moderate "illusion-of-control" mothers by exhibiting a depression-prone attributional style, a depressed mood state, perceiving the father(More)
Data are presented which support the hypothesis that infant cognitive development is a function of maternal responsiveness to infant cues. 22 mothers whose physiologic responses to infant signals had been recorded at an earlier date participated in the follow-up study reported here. Mother-infant dyads were videotaped during a feeding session when the(More)
66 mothers of 5-month-old infants participated in 2 simulated child-care tasks to examine differences in response to the performance demands of child care. Mothers first participated in a task in which they estimated their perception of control over stopping an audiotaped infant cry (illusion of control). 1 week later, they participated in another task to(More)
At 24-months of age, toddlers (N=62) and their mothers were observed in a free-play session to determine the contribution of (a) maternal sensory sensitivity to positive and negative infant facial expressions as measured in a signal detection task at 6 months, (b) maternal behavior and affect, infant behavior and affect, and dyadic interaction at 9 months,(More)
The present study was designed to explore the effects of reciprocated and unreciprocated gaze upon skin conductance and heart rate response. A paradigm used previously to investigate maternal response to infant gaze was selected which allowed us to consider possible order effects, sex differences and differential rates of habituation in response to direct(More)
We report 2 experiments that assess factors potentially responsible for a proactive interference with the sensitivity of a mother's response to infant signals. Using a version of the "learned helplessness" paradigm, mothers' performance on a solvable task was assessed following pretreatments that involved exposure to an infant cry but that differed in the(More)
This study examined the role of maternal cognitive sets regarding infant gender on maternal response; participants were 69 mothers, each with a 6-month-old infant. Signal detection methodology was used to assess maternal sensory sensitivity and response bias to subtle changes in positive and negative infant facial expressions as a function of maternal(More)
  • W L Donovan
  • 1981
Maternal response to infant crying was studied by exposing mothers of young infants to varying degrees of control over the termination of infant crying. As adapted from the learned-helplessness paradigm, each mother was tested on an instrumental shuttle box task following exposure to one of three instrumental pretreatments: (a) escape-four button presses(More)