Citation: Ishii, R., & Tomoko, O. (2022). Relationship between Emotional Intelligence, Maternal Accuracy in the Perception of Infant Emotions, and Parenting Difficulties, 8(1). https://doi.org/10.22492/ijpbs.8.1.02
This study examined age-related differences in the relationship between parenting difficulties, a mother’s emotional intelligence, and the accuracy of a mother’s perception of her infant’s emotions. Specifically, this study compares three aged-based conditions: (1) infants at the age of three months, when their emotions are undifferentiated, (2) infants at six months, when emotional differentiation is underway, the target is in mutual interaction and triadic interaction begins, and (3) infants at nine months, when their subjective world begins to develop an understanding of the intention of others. A semi-structured interview using controlled VTR stimulation and a questionnaire survey were administered to 74 first-time mothers of infants. In the interview, each mother was asked about the infant’s feelings in the VTR and what might explain the infant’s emotions. The results of a correlation analysis showed consistent negative moderate correlation between the mother’s parenting difficulties and her emotional intelligence, regardless of the infants’ age. On the other hand, the partial correlation between the accuracy of a mother’s reading of infant emotions and parenting difficulties, controlled for emotional intelligence, showed differences by infant age. Although there was almost no correlation for mothers with a six-month-old infant, mothers with a three-month-old infant showed a positive correlation and mothers with a nine-month-old infant showed a negative correlation. The participants’ accounts of the VTR also indicated the mechanism of those age differences. The findings of this research reveal a part of the developmental process of a mother and provide knowledge concerning childcare support.
emotional intelligence, maternal accuracy, parenting difficulties