B4039 - Multi domain understanding of observed parent-infant interactions at home - 13/04/2022

B number: 
Principal applicant name: 
Nicky Wright | Manchester Metropolitan University
Professor Rebecca Pearson, Dr Ekaterina Ostashchenko, Dr Julia Wolska, Dr Yael Benn, Dr Laura Bozicevic, Miss Romana Burgess, Dr Ilaria Costantini, Iryna Culpin, Louah Sirri
Title of project: 
Multi domain understanding of observed parent-infant interactions at home
Proposal summary: 

Variations in mother–infant interactions have a substantial impact on offspring health and functioning in later life. The accepted gold standard for measuring mother–child interactions is to film interaction between mother and child in lab or home setting from the third person. There are several limitations to this approach, including demand characteristics, increased burden on participants and researchers and a less accurate perception of the infant and mothers actual experience in interaction due to using the third person perspective and often only short snippets of time. The recent advent of head-mounted cameras which can be used in naturalistic home settings addresses these limitations. In addition the team have developed a micro-coding system to allow an assessment of moment by moment interaction behaviours, coded using both micro and automated codes.
Research has shown that use of the headcams detects more maternal behaviours in interaction that are social. The videos from home interactions can be coded, they have so far been analysed using an in-depth micro-coded system. What is not yet known is how the micro-coded interaction behaviours map on to global constructs such as parental “sensitivity” and more specific dyadic processes such as attunement, contingency, coordination, matching, mirroring, reparation, and synchrony (Provenci, di Minico, Giusti, Guida & Muller, 2018). The first stage of this project will involve coding and processing data and conducting analyses to identify behavioural manifestations of these and other parent-interaction constructs.
We will validate the micro-coding and automated coding against global coding of sensitivity using videos from both ALSPAC mothers and fathers. This will allow the identification of the behavioural manifestations of sensitivity using both mother infant moment by moment behaviours, importantly across behavioural domains (i.e, mirroring of facial expressions as well as vocalisations or across behaviours where the affect tone is matched in face in mum and vocal in baby), and with quantification of duration of behaviours and time between behaviours. We will also develop processes to automate, such as face reader outputs, currently being validated in parents , but we need more input to use for infants. Establishing which micro-codes and combinations of behaviour are associated with global parent-infant constructs in mothers and fathers will produce a less labour-intensive method to assess parent-infant interaction. Further, this work has important implications for intervention to enhance parent-infant interaction by identifying specific concrete behaviours to target.
The second stage involves examining associations between the identified parent-infant interaction processes and parental mental health and language and with child cognitive, emotional and behavioural outcomes. We combine a number of researchers with specialism around parent-infant interaction, language development, proximity and body-position, joint attention and emotional and behavioural problems.

Impact of research: 
Date proposal received: 
Monday, 11 April, 2022
Date proposal approved: 
Wednesday, 13 April, 2022
Mental health - Psychology, Psychiatry, Cognition, Mental health, Statistical methods, Childhood - childcare, childhood adversity