Maternal sensitivity in middle childhood

Robert H. Bradley, Amy L. Pennar

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Theory stipulates that maternal sensitivity contributes to adaptive behavior throughout childhood; but there has been little attention to maternal sensitivity in middle childhood. Significant issues remain regarding how best to conceptualize and measure sensitivity during this period. Research indicates that low maternal sensitivity during infancy and early childhood is associated with aggression and poor social competence for boys and girls during middle childhood. Likewise, greater maternal sensitivity during middle childhood appears associated with more emotional openness, better overall adaptive functioning, and school success. That said, the relations appear complex, with uncertainties remaining regarding genetic contributions and direction of effect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMaternal Sensitivity
Subtitle of host publicationA Scientific Foundation for Practice
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)9781611227284
StatePublished - Jan 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology
  • General Social Sciences


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