Caress-like is a crucial component of caregiving and a key factor in mother-infant interactions. Mother's experience of touch during her own childhood (i.e., tactile biography) has been found to be related to maternal actual use of caress-like touch (i.e., stroking) during mother-infant exchanges. Evidence also suggests that maternal interoceptive sensibility (i.e., self-perceived sensitivity to inner-body sensations) might be related to sensitive caregiving abilities. However, further empirical investigation is needed to understand to what extent tactile biography and interoceptive sensibility have an impact on mothers' stroking when interacting with their infants. Using an online survey, this cross-sectional study explored the potential association between maternal tactile biography, interoceptive sensibility and use of touch for interaction with their own infants in a group of 377 Italian mothers (mean age = 33.29; SD = 4.79). We tested and compared a series of multivariate linear mediation models using maternal tactile biography as predictor, maternal use of affective touch as outcome variable and Multidimensional Assessment of Interoceptive Awareness (MAIA) subscale scores as mediators. We found that, if a mother had positive touch experiences in her own childhood, she may be more likely to use touch in a positive and nurturing way with her own infant (i.e., stroking). Furthermore, mothers' interoceptive sensibility in the form of attention regulation, self-regulation and body listening mediates the association between their past experiences of positive touch and their use of caress-like touch in mother-infant exchanges. This study highlights that maternal tactile biography is directly associated with mothers' use of caress-like touch and indirectly linked to it through the mediating role of interoceptive sensibility.

Stroking in early mother-infant exchanges: The role of maternal tactile biography and interoceptive sensibility

Mariani Wigley, Isabella Lucia Chiara;Pastore, Massimiliano;Bonichini, Sabrina;
2024

Abstract

Caress-like is a crucial component of caregiving and a key factor in mother-infant interactions. Mother's experience of touch during her own childhood (i.e., tactile biography) has been found to be related to maternal actual use of caress-like touch (i.e., stroking) during mother-infant exchanges. Evidence also suggests that maternal interoceptive sensibility (i.e., self-perceived sensitivity to inner-body sensations) might be related to sensitive caregiving abilities. However, further empirical investigation is needed to understand to what extent tactile biography and interoceptive sensibility have an impact on mothers' stroking when interacting with their infants. Using an online survey, this cross-sectional study explored the potential association between maternal tactile biography, interoceptive sensibility and use of touch for interaction with their own infants in a group of 377 Italian mothers (mean age = 33.29; SD = 4.79). We tested and compared a series of multivariate linear mediation models using maternal tactile biography as predictor, maternal use of affective touch as outcome variable and Multidimensional Assessment of Interoceptive Awareness (MAIA) subscale scores as mediators. We found that, if a mother had positive touch experiences in her own childhood, she may be more likely to use touch in a positive and nurturing way with her own infant (i.e., stroking). Furthermore, mothers' interoceptive sensibility in the form of attention regulation, self-regulation and body listening mediates the association between their past experiences of positive touch and their use of caress-like touch in mother-infant exchanges. This study highlights that maternal tactile biography is directly associated with mothers' use of caress-like touch and indirectly linked to it through the mediating role of interoceptive sensibility.
2024
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3509556
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