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Assessing mother-infant bonding: reliability of the recorded interaction task


Edwards, H and Buisman-Pijlman, FTA and Esterman, A and Phillips, C and Smart, L and Orgeig, S and Gordon, A, Assessing mother-infant bonding: reliability of the recorded interaction task, Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology pp. 1-11. ISSN 0264-6838 (2022) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

2022 Society for Reproductive & Infant Psychology

DOI: doi:10.1080/02646838.2022.2134848


Objective: This study examined the intra- and inter-rater reliability of the Recorded Interaction Task (RIT); a novel tool to assess mother-infant bonding via observational methods.

Background: Mother-infant bonding describes the reciprocal early emotional connection between mother and infant. Whilst various tools exist to assess mother-infant bonding, many incorrectly confuse this construct with mother-infant attachment. Further, available tools are limited to those that employ self-report methods, thus may reflect perceived behaviour, rather than actual behaviour. The RIT is a novel tool for observational assessment of mother-infant bonding. A standard interaction between mother and infant is recorded, and later assessed against specified bonding-related behaviours. Before its use in research, reliability testing must be undertaken to ensure the RIT may be used consistently.

Methods: The RIT was administered to 15 mother-infant dyads. Participant recordings were assessed by three trained raters at two time points, using the RIT observation scoring sheet. Intra-rater reliability was determined by comparing scores at each time point for each rater. Inter-rater reliability was determined by assessing reliability of scores at the first time point.

Results: Strong intra-rater reliability (ICC >0.86) and fair inter-rater reliability (ICC = 0.55) were observed.

Conclusion: The current findings support the RIT's potential to reliably assess mother-infant bonding.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:infant, mother-child relations, bonding behaviours
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Public health
Research Field:Community child health
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Specific population health (excl. Indigenous health)
Objective Field:Women's and maternal health
UTAS Author:Smart, L (Ms Larissa Smart)
ID Code:154320
Year Published:2022
Deposited By:Nursing
Deposited On:2022-11-23
Last Modified:2022-12-22

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