Fathers' and mothers' responses to infant smiles and cries
Infant Behavior and Development
Forty-eight mother-father pairs watched a 6-minute videotape presentation of an infant during which time their skin conductance and blood pressure (systolic and diastolic) were monitored. Mood scales were also administered. Half of the subjects saw a crying baby, while the other half viewed a smiling infant. The baby was labeled as "normal," "difficult," or "premature," to equal proportions of the sample. All parents completed standard questionnaires concerning their own child. The smiling infant triggered positive emotions and negligible changes in autonomic arousal, whereas a crying infant was perceived as aversive and elicited diastolic blood-pressure and skin-conductance increases. Skin-conductance increases were especially apparent when the infant was described as "premature." Mothers and fathers did not differ either in their responses to the stimulus baby or in their perception of their own child. © 1978 Ablex Publishing Corporation.
Original Publication Date
DOI of published version
Frodi, Ann M.; Lamb, Michael E.; Leavitt, Lewis A.; and Donovan, Wilberta L., "Fathers' and mothers' responses to infant smiles and cries" (1978). Faculty Publications. 5034.