Are Popular Observational Maternal Sensitivity Measures Consistent in their Assessment of Maternal Sensitivity in North America?
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This study examined three observational maternal sensitivity measures, Emotional Availability Scales (EAS; Biringen, Robinson, & Emde, 1998; Biringen, 2008), the Parent Child Interaction Nursing Child Assessment Satellite Training Feeding Scale (NCAFS; Barnard 1978; Oxford & Findlay, 2015), Mini-Maternal Behaviour Q Sort (MBQS; Moran, Pederson & Bento, 2009), to determine the degree to which they measure sensitivity as defined by Ainsworth (Ainsworth Maternal Sensitivity Scales (AMSS); 1969). The measures were administered to the same sample of 50 diversely functional European American mother-infant dyads, including the scales and subscales of the measures that were deemed to measure sensitivity for analysis. EAS, NCAFS, and MBQS were significant predictors of Ainsworths sensitivity (AMSS); however, the role of socio-economic status varied across the measures. The findings suggest that three of the most frequently used observational maternal sensitivity measures may not measure identical features of sensitivity and should perhaps not be used interchangeably.