Great expectations? Do mothers’ and fathers’ prenatal thoughts and feelings about the infant predict parent-infant interaction quality? A meta-analytic review

Sarah Foley*, Claire Hughes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Drawing on data gathered from 14 studies involving a total of 1862 mothers and fathers, this meta-analysis reviews the measures that are used to tap into thoughts and feelings about the unborn infant during pregnancy and examines links between these prenatal measures and parent-child interaction quality. Questionnaire scores for parental-fetal attachment and interview ratings of expectant parents’ representations of their infant showed modest but robust associations with observed parent-child interaction quality. Moderator analyses showed that these associations were significantly stronger for mothers than for fathers. Key lessons for future research include the need for greater consistency in study measures, sample diversity and the examination of associations with child outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-54
Number of pages15
JournalDevelopmental Review
Volume48
Early online date27 Apr 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018

Keywords

  • observation
  • parental-fetal attachment
  • parenting
  • pregnancy
  • representation

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Great expectations? Do mothers’ and fathers’ prenatal thoughts and feelings about the infant predict parent-infant interaction quality? A meta-analytic review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this