M.H.B. was supported by research grants (HD20559 and HD20807) and by a Research Career Development Award (HD00521) from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and by a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship. C.T.-L. and P.L. were supported by IRTA Fellowships and S.T. by a Fogarty International Visiting Fellowship to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. M.-G.P. was supported by INSERM (859012). We thank the Laboratoire de Psychologie du Développement et de I'Éducation de I'Enfant of the Sorbonne and the Faculty of Education of the University of Tokyo for gracious hospitality in providing bases for data collection, and H. Bornstein, F. Findji, M. Fivel, M. Ogino, K. Painter, J. Ruel, J. Suwalsky, and B. Wright for assistance.
Maternal Responsiveness to Infants in Three Societies: The United States, France, and Japan
Article first published online: 28 JUN 2008
Volume 63, Issue 4, pages 808–821, August 1992
How to Cite
Bornstein, M. H., Tamis-LeMonda, C. S., Tal, J., Ludemann, P., Toda, S., Rahn, C. W., Pêcheux, M.-G., Azuma, H. and Vardi, D. (1992), Maternal Responsiveness to Infants in Three Societies: The United States, France, and Japan. Child Development, 63: 808–821. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.1992.tb01663.x
- Issue published online: 28 JUN 2008
- Article first published online: 28 JUN 2008
This study examines and compares prominent characteristics of maternal responsiveness to infant activity during home-based naturalistic interactions of mother-infant dyads in New York City, Paris, and Tokyo. Both culture-general and culture-specific patterns of responsiveness emerged. For example, in all 3 locales infants behaved similarly, mothers also behaved similarly with respect to a hierarchy of response types, and mothers and infants manifest both specificity and mutual appropriateness in their interactions: Mothers responded to infants' exploration of the environment with encouragement to the environment, to infants' vocalizing nondistress with imitation, and to infants' vocalizing distress with nurturance. Differences in maternal responsiveness among cultures occurred to infant looking rather than to infant vocalizing and in mothers' emphasizing dyadic versus extradyadic loci of interaction. Universals of maternal responsiveness, potential sources of cultural variation, and implications of similarities and differences in responsiveness for child development in different cultural contexts are discussed.