Date of Award

Fall 2013

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Human Development and Family Studies

First Advisor

German Posada

Committee Chair

German Posada

Committee Member 1

Doug Sprenkle

Committee Member 2

Steve Wilson

Committee Member 3

Sharon Christ


Associations between maternal sensitivity, maternal mind-mindedness, and infant socioemotional (SE) functioning were examined in a sample of 40 mother-infant dyads. Semi-structured home observations were conducted to assess maternal sensitivity and collect maternal ratings of maternal depression and infant SE functioning. Mind-mindedness was assessed during free play and teaching interactions during the home visit. Sensitivity at home was positively associated with mind-mindedness during a free play interaction, but not during a teaching interaction. Neither sensitivity nor mind-mindedness was significantly associated with total infant SE scores, or scores on 3 SE subscales (adaptive functioning, self-regulation, and interaction with people). A trend between mind-mindedness and self-regulation explored via a regression analysis was revealed to be non-significant. Multiple regressions were conducted to explore the degree of linear relationship between two criterion variables (total infant SE and self-regulation scores and three predictors (sensitivity, attuned MM, and depression). None of the regression models tested significantly predicted infant SE. Overall, results were consistent with prior research in terms of the associations revealed between sensitivity and mind-mindedness during the free-play interaction, and between sensitivity and depression. Associations revealed between sensitivity and mind-mindedness as a function of task type suggest that the situational context of mother-infant interactions may influence the nature and strength of the relationship between sensitivity, mind-mindedness, and infant socioemotional functioning.