• Child development;
  • infant;
  • mother-infant relations;
  • psychotic disorders;
  • schizophrenia;
  • cycloid psychosis;
  • affective illness;
  • psyhopathology.

Abstract Mother-infant interaction during feeding and in an unstructured play situation was studied in the home at 3 weeks and 6 weeks of age in index mother-infant pairs in which the mother had a history of non-organic psychosis (n = 42 and 51 at 3 and 6 weeks, respectively) and in demographically similar control pairs (n - 60 and 78J. At both ages, interaction was significantly more negative in index than control cases, index mothers showing increased tension and a lack of harmony, decreased social contact, and reduced sensitivity to the infant's needs. Fewer significant differences were found between index and control infants. Mothers in the Schizophrenic, Cycloid and Nonendogenous groups evidenced more negative interaction characteristics than did their matched controls, but the Affective group was not in any way more negative than its controls.