How does maternal affection affect a child’s behavior? And What is maternal Behaviour

A mother can greatly influence child’s growth and development physically, mentally and emotionally. A mother’s physical and emotional presence provides babies with two things: protection from stress and emotional control both of which are important to healthy brain development and child’s future well- being.

Wolf and Wolf studied infants who are raised without their mothers in hospitals and orphanages and advocated the ideas of ‘hospitalism’ and ‘anaclitic depression’, both of which describe infant’s depression brought out by the absence of their mothers.

Bowlby (1951) said that the mother is the most important person in the infant’s life and absence of her mother create a significant loss for her infant.

In the 1960s, the classic work by Provence and Lipton (1962) on orphans in institute, concluded that the loss of mother mainly effect infant’s development because there were not enough caregivers to satisfy social needs of the infants.

Further Lewis (2004) has argued that infant is born into social network and child task at early stages her/his life is to adapt that network, which include peers, siblings, parents and grandparents. Whereas, if only the mother is present , her absence is highly destructive to the child’s development, but if there are others present , then the infant has the ability to adapt (  Lewis & Takahashi,2005).

According to Burchinai,Pesiner- Feinberg, Pianta and Howes (as cited in Downer& Pianta, 2006),

“Maternal education and family incomes are key elements of family structure that have been associated with young children’s academic outcomes, language development and cognitive abilities” (p.12).

Maternal interaction play important role in how child acquire communication skills. Landry, Smith, Swank,Assel and Vellet (2001) found a connection between maternal responsiveness and subsequent cognitive growth of child. Mothers who were consistently responsive to their child had children with higher cognitive growth in comparison to the mothers who were in consistent in their interaction with their child.

Paavola and colleagues (2005) have also shown restrictions and instructions to have a negative impact on child language development. In their study it was noted that commands and warnings given by mothers during their interaction with their children such as ‘no’ or “do not touch that” may have inverse effects on language development. It was also suggested that mothers who communicate more command and restrictions to their children have children who communicate less are less reciprocal in their speech with their mothers (Paavola et al., 2005; Fewell, deutscher, 2002; Hart and Risley, 1995) it becomes clear that restrictions and instructions hinder a child’s language development and are important components to be evaluated when assessing the effects of parent –child interactions on language development.

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