EMOTIONAL AVAILABILITY IN EARLY MOTHER-CHILD INTERACTIONS FOR CHILDREN WITH AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDERS, OTHER PSYCHIATRIC DISORDERS, AND DEVELOPMENTAL DELAY.Infant Ment Health J. 2016 Mar-Apr; 37(2):151-9.IM
Emotional availability (EA) is a method to assess early parent-child dyadic interactions for emotional awareness, perception, experience, and expression between child and parent that describe global relational quality (Z. Biringen & M. Easterbrooks, 2012). The current study aimed to examine the effects of an infant's diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), other psychiatric disorders (OPD), and developmental delay (DD) on the maternal EA Scale (EAS; Z. Biringen & M. Easterbrooks, 2012; Z. Biringen, J.L. Robinson, & R.N. Emde, 2000) scores and the relative contributions of infant's age, gender, diagnosis, developmental level, and maternal education on EAS scores in a clinical Turkish sample. Three hundred forty-five infant-mother dyads participated in this study. Results of the research indicated that EAS adult scores were associated with maternal education and infant's diagnosis whereas child scores were associated with infant's age, diagnosis, and developmental level. Infants' involvement and responsiveness to the mother were lower in the group with ASD. Children with OPD, particularly when their mothers have lower education, might be at increased risk of having problems in parent-child interactions. Young ASD subjects with developmental delay are in greatest need of support to increase reactions toward their mother. These findings underscore the importance of using all of the EA dimensions rather than only one measure on children in high-risk populations.