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Title: The impact of maternal post-natal anxiety on infant cognitive flexibility
Authors: Tan, Racheal
Keywords: Social sciences::Psychology
Issue Date: 2022
Publisher: Nanyang Technological University
Source: Tan, R. (2022). The impact of maternal post-natal anxiety on infant Cognitive flexibility. Final Year Project (FYP), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
Abstract: Stressful and inconsistent parent-child interactions, as a result of maternal unresponsiveness and distress, have been shown to have an adverse impact on infants’ cognitive flexibility (CF). Given the prevalence of post-natal anxiety (PNA), this present study aims to investigate the impact of PNA on the development of CF among infants within a Singaporean context. Hypothesis: It is hypothesized that higher levels of maternal PNA is associated with lower levels of infants’ CF. Methods: The State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), Sequential Touching Task (STT) and the Objective Discrimination and Reversal Learning (ODRL) task were utilized. STAI was completed by mothers and scores were used as measurement of maternal PNA. For STT, infants were presented with toys of different shapes and compressibility for two rounds of free play, with a demonstrate phase of the toy’s compressibility in between. Infants’ mean run length were used as measurement of CF. In ODRL, infants went through a discrimination learning phase and reversal learning phase. One out of two stimuli presented was positively reinforced and was switched across the two phases. Infants’ proportion of correct reaches were used as a measurement of CF. Results: While correlations were nonsignificant, overall positive trends were noted between variables of interest, suggesting that a higher level of maternal PNA is associated with higher levels of infant’s CF. Discussion: Findings did not support the hypothesis due to low statistical power from a small sample size and other limitations. Future research can refine on the present study with more participants and adjustments.
Schools: School of Social Sciences 
Fulltext Permission: restricted
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:SSS Student Reports (FYP/IA/PA/PI)

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