A Transactional Model of Parent-Infant Interactions in Alcoholic Families

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This study examined the transactional nature of parent-infant interactions over time among alcoholic and nonalcoholic families. The sample consisted of 222 families assessed at 12, 18, and 24 months of child age. Results indicated that infant behavior did not influence parental behavior across time, but parental behavior was longitudinally predictive of infant behavior during play interactions. Higher paternal alcohol consumption at 12 months was longitudinally predictive of negative parental behavior at 24 months. Other significant risk factors included marital conflict, fathers' depression, and fathers' education. Results highlight the nested nature of risk in alcoholic families and the direction of influence from parent to child during interactions and suggest that 1 pathway to risk among these children is through negative parent-infant interactions.

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