Associations between maternal-foetal attachment and infant developmental outcomes: a systematic review

Branjerdporn, Grace, Meredith, Pamela, Strong, Jenny and Garcia, Jenniffer (2016) Associations between maternal-foetal attachment and infant developmental outcomes: a systematic review. Maternal and Child Health Journal, 21 3: 1-14. doi:10.1007/s10995-016-2138-2


Author Branjerdporn, Grace
Meredith, Pamela
Strong, Jenny
Garcia, Jenniffer
Title Associations between maternal-foetal attachment and infant developmental outcomes: a systematic review
Journal name Maternal and Child Health Journal   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1092-7875
1573-6628
Publication date 2016-07-25
Year available 2016
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/s10995-016-2138-2
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 21
Issue 3
Start page 1
End page 14
Total pages 14
Place of publication New York, United States
Publisher Springer New York LLC
Language eng
Abstract Objectives Infant developmental outcomes may be influenced by a range of prenatal maternal characteristics. While there is some evidence to suggest that maternal-foetal attachment may be associated with infant developmental outcomes, there is a need to systematically review this evidence to guide future research and clinical practice. Methods Five electronic databases were systematically scanned. Key journals and reference lists were hand-searched. Papers were included if: (1) pregnant women were assessed for maternal-foetal attachment; (2) the infants were later assessed, under 2 years old, for any developmental outcome (e.g., social-emotional, cognition, motor, language, adaptive behaviour); and (3) they were published in English. Two independent reviewers used the STROBE checklist to appraise the quality of each paper. Results Of the 968 papers identified, eight were included in the review, and four of these were of low quality (< 60 %) based on the STROBE. The developmental domains that were examined included: infant temperament (n = 5), adaptive behaviour (e.g., colic, sleep) (n = 2), and milestone attainment (n = 1). There is some evidence to suggest that lower maternal-foetal attachment is related to suboptimal developmental outcomes. However, these results should be interpreted with caution due to the limited and low quality studies available. Conclusions Although maternal-foetal attachment may be associated with infant developmental outcomes, future research is required which: (1) considers a range of developmental outcomes, (2) has increased scientific rigour, (3) assesses mother-infant dyads at different prenatal and postnatal time points, and (4) examines different target populations.
Formatted abstract
Objectives
Infant developmental outcomes may be influenced by a range of prenatal maternal characteristics. While there is some evidence to suggest that maternal-foetal attachment may be associated with infant developmental outcomes, there is a need to systematically review this evidence to guide future research and clinical practice.

Methods
Five electronic databases were systematically scanned. Key journals and reference lists were hand-searched. Papers were included if: (1) pregnant women were assessed for maternal-foetal attachment; (2) the infants were later assessed, under 2 years old, for any developmental outcome (e.g., social-emotional, cognition, motor, language, adaptive behaviour); and (3) they were published in English. Two independent reviewers used the STROBE checklist to appraise the quality of each paper.

Results
Of the 968 papers identified, eight were included in the review, and four of these were of low quality (<60 %) based on the STROBE. The developmental domains that were examined included: infant temperament (n = 5), adaptive behaviour (e.g., colic, sleep) (n = 2), and milestone attainment (n = 1). There is some evidence to suggest that lower maternal-foetal attachment is related to suboptimal developmental outcomes. However, these results should be interpreted with caution due to the limited and low quality studies available.

Conclusions
Although maternal-foetal attachment may be associated with infant developmental outcomes, future research is required which: (1) considers a range of developmental outcomes, (2) has increased scientific rigour, (3) assesses mother-infant dyads at different prenatal and postnatal time points, and (4) examines different target populations.
Keyword Prenatal Attachment
Pregnancy
Temperament
Questionnaire
Epidemiology
Depression
Revision
Family
Women
Tool
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Publications
 
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Created: Thu, 25 Aug 2016, 04:42:22 EST by Dr Pamela Meredith on behalf of School of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences