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Assessing the impact of a family nurse-led intervention on young mothers’ references to internal states

Paine, Amy L. ORCID:, Cannings-John, Rebecca ORCID:, Channon, Susan ORCID:, Lugg-Widger, Fiona ORCID:, Waters, Cerith S. ORCID: and Robling, Michael ORCID: 2020. Assessing the impact of a family nurse-led intervention on young mothers’ references to internal states. Infant Mental Health Journal 41 (4) , pp. 463-476. 10.1002/imhj.21849

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A mother's propensity to refer to internal states during mother–child interactions is important for her child's developing social understanding. However, adolescent mothers are less likely to reference internal states when interacting with their children. We investigated whether young mothers’ references to internal states are promoted by the Family Nurse Partnership (FNP) intervention, an intensive home‐visiting programme designed to support adolescent mothers in England. We also investigated family, maternal, and child factors associated with young mothers’ references to inner states during interactions with their children. Adolescent mothers (n = 483, aged ≤ 19 years when recruited in pregnancy) and their children participated in an observational substudy of a randomized controlled trial investigating the impact of FNP compared to usual care. Mother–child dyads were video‐recorded during free play, and mothers’ speech was coded for use of internal state language (references to cognitions, desires, emotions, intentions, preferences, physiology, and perception). We found no differences in mothers’ use of internal state language between the FNP and usual care groups. A sample‐wide investigation identified that other features of mothers’ language and relationship status with the child's father were associated with internal state language use. Findings are discussed with reference to targeted interventions and implications for future research.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Centre for Trials Research (CNTRR)
Additional Information: This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License.
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 0163-9641
Funders: Wellcome Trust
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 10 October 2019
Date of Acceptance: 18 September 2019
Last Modified: 07 May 2023 14:14

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