Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Child Development


The research presented here is a result of two related research projects developed to replicate and extend the previous research of mother-cerebral-palsied infant interaction and intervention. Experiment 1. Two groups of 20 Caucasian mother-infant pairs were videotaped during 15 minutes of free-play in their homes. The infants, 2-32 months, were nondelayed or developmentally delayed with cerebral palsy. The groups were matched according to sex and mental age. Two-tailed paired t-tests indicated that mothers of cerebral-palsied infants were more verbally and physically directive and engaged in fewer positive behaviors in their initiation and response communication patterns to their infants in comparison to the mothers of nondelayed infants. Mothers of cerebral-palsied infants also engaged in more physical contact, less face-to-face interaction, and they held their infants more frequently than did their counterparts. Infants with cerebral palsy were more compliant, less responsive, less independent, and they engaged in fewer voluntary responses with their mothers than did the nondelayed infants. Findings from this study indicated that in order to accurately interpret the communicative behavior patterns of the mother-cerebral-palsied infant dyad, nonverbal behaviors must also be analyzed in addition to the verbal behaviors which have traditionally been the focus of study in research such as this;Experiment 2. The mother-cerebral-palsied infant dyads of Experiment 1 were randomly assigned to an experimental or a control group. After the free-play session occurred as described above, mothers received 1 hour of intervention information focused towards remediating the maladaptive verbal and nonverbal communication patterns reported in Experiment 1 or 1 hour of occupational therapy. A final visit was made 2 weeks later when mother-infant dyads were again videotaped during a 15-minute free-play session. A two-factor (treatment x time) repeated measures analysis of variance with repeated measures of the second factor was conducted on each of the measures studied. Results indicated that both mothers and infants in the experimental group benefited from the intervention session, particularly in the area of nonverbal communication.



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Copyright Owner

Jodie Redditi Hanzlik



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122 pages