Assessing Relationship Disorders of Mothers and their Infants using a Video Rating Scale: Preliminary Psychometric Data

Wednesday, 15 July 2009: 2:05 PM

Carolyn D. Harris-Muchell, PhD, PMHCNS-BC
Nursing, Holy Names University, Oakland, CA

Learning Objective 1: identify 2 diagnostic behavior scales developed by Zero to Three for assessing potential relationship problems between the mother and infant.

Learning Objective 2: identify 2 infant behaviors and 2 parents behaviors that may be predictive of relationship problems within the dyad.

Purpose: The purpose of the study was to better understand the relationship between drug exposed infants and their mothers and how this relationship may be associated with mental health outcomes for the child.
Methods: A nested case-control design was used, involving secondary data analysis of a prospective study.  Two measures were developed for this study to assess relationship problems: the Parent-Infant Relationship Global Assessment Scale and the Videotape Rating Scale for Relationship Disorders.
Results: In general drug exposed infants and their mothers were well adapted in their relationships.  However, there was a higher incidence of specific relationship problems in the drug exposed group compared to the non-drug exposed group.
Conclusion: At two years of age children in more dysfunctional relationships may learn to readily comply with their mother's demands to avoid consequences.  Infants who are drug exposed and their mothers may be at risk for relationship problems.