Effect of maternal eating disorders on mother-infant quality of interaction, bonding and child temperament: A longitudinal study

Maria Giulia Martini*, Emma Taborelli, Abigail Easter, Amanda Bye, Ivan Eisler, Ulrike Schmidt, Nadia Micali

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
99 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Aims: This study aims to investigate the effect of maternal eating disorders (ED) on mother-infant quality of interaction at 8 weeks and bonding and child temperament at 1 and 2 years postnatally. We also aimed to explore the relationship between maternal ED psychopathology, comorbid psychiatric difficulties, and both mother-infant quality of interaction and bonding in women with ED. Women were recruited to a prospective longitudinal study. By the time of giving birth, the sample consisted of 101 women of the initial 137 (73.7%). Overall, 62 women (ED = 36; HC = 26) participated in the 8-week assessment, 42 (ED = 20; HC = 22) at 1 year, and 78 (ED = 34; HC = 44) at 2 years. Mann-Whitney U Test was used to explore association between maternal ED and mother-infant quality of interaction and between maternal ED and bonding. Spearman correlations were used to explore associations between maternal ED psychopathology, comorbid psychiatric difficulties, and both mother-infant quality of interaction and bonding. Results: We found no differences between early mother-infant interaction and bonding in mothers with ED in comparison to HC. High levels of maternal ED psychopathology were correlated with high anxiety levels, higher negative affectivity, and lower extraversion in children of ED mothers both at 1 and 2 years. Furthermore, high levels of ED psychopathology were also associated with lower effortful control at 1 year. Conclusions: Findings imply that maternal ED have an impact on child temperament. Future research should focus on resilience and on which protective factors might lead to positive outcomes. These factors can be then used as therapeutic and preventative targets.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Eating Disorders Review
Early online date5 Dec 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 5 Dec 2022

Keywords

  • bonding
  • CARE INDEX
  • child temperament
  • eating disorder
  • perinatal

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