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Abstract

This research study measures how mothers perceive and use touch with their infants, and its association with maternal resiliency, a measure of coping ability. This is important because the inability to cope causes increased stress, which increases negative perceptions of life events, making it even more difficult to cope. In addition, research has yet to uncover whether resiliency is increased in mothers by the same touch and interactions that have been proven to enhance development, attachment, and resiliency in infants. This study asked participants (mothers of infants <1 year of age) to complete demographic information and a survey composed of three questionnaires: the Mother-Infant Touch Survey, the Physical Contact Assessment, and the Resilience Scale. Although there were no statistically significant correlations among reported perceptions of touch, mother-infant touch, and maternal resiliency, some findings warrant further investigation. Hispanic mothers scored higher on the Resiliency Scale (RS-14) than Non-Hispanic mothers, and a linear trend was detected between mothers in the < 25 years of age group and higher scores on the RS- 14. These findings may influence future research on the correlations between mother-infant touch and maternal coping ability.

KEYWORDS: infants, mothers, bonding, resilience, physical touch

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