Journal article

The role of antenatal and postnatal maternal bonding in infant development: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Genevieve A Le Bas, George J Youssef, Jacqui A Macdonald, Larissa Rossen, Samantha J Teague, Emily J Kothe, Jennifer E McIntosh, Craig A Olsson, Delyse M Hutchinson



The purpose of this study was to systematically review the empirical literature on maternal bonding and associations with infant physical, psychological, and social development. Nineteen articles met inclusion criteria and were included in a qualitative synthesis (79 effect sizes); 15 articles were suitable for aggregation in a series of 14 meta-analyses (51 effect sizes). All mean effects were in the expected direction, with higher maternal bonding contributing to infant developmental outcomes, including higher attachment quality (r =.35) and parent-reported lower colic rating (r =.22), easier temperament (r =.19), and positive infant mood (r =.27). Consistent with theoretical explanatory m..

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