Undergraduate Honours Theses
Past research has demonstrated the influence of a mother on her child’s development. This research has highlighted the importance of closeness in relationships and the abundance of positive outcomes that result from high closeness in early relations, long after infancy. This study used recordings from a previous study on mother-infant dyads to examine observable behaviours indicating closeness in infant-mother dyads, during speech and song episodes. It was hypothesized that the dyads total closeness would be higher in the song condition than the speech condition, which was validated by the results. Further analysis showed a difference in closeness scores within the dyad, with mothers displaying significantly higher scores than her infant. There was no significant effect of closeness score per episode when the closeness scores within the dyad were broken down to compare a mother versus her infant, though after removing control variables such as gender and the episode order, the results indicated near significance. Correlations indicated a relationship between mothers and their infants when engaging in touch, even across episodes. Several limitations were present in the study and future directions for this line of research were identified
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Thesis Advisor(s): Dr. Christine Tsang