The Effects of Maternal Sensitivity on the Development of the Empathy in Neglected Children
University of Delaware
Neglected children are often at risk for developing disorganized attachments, which can result in poor development of socioemotional skills, such as empathy. However, children who receive high-quality, sensitive parenting may be buffered from these negative outcomes. In this study, we examined the relationship between maternal sensitivity and child empathy in a sample of 155 caregiver-child dyads, who were referred by Child Protective Services for concerns of neglect when the children were infants. Maternal sensitivity was measured through a semi-structured play task at an early (0-18 months) and later (18-30 months) timepoint. We also measured child empathy skills through a simulated maternal distress task at 36 and 48 months. There were no significant associations between maternal sensitivity during play and child empathy.
Research Subject Categories::SOCIAL SCIENCES , Research Subject Categories::SOCIAL SCIENCES::Social sciences::Psychology