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Mutter-Kind-Interaktion im Säuglingsalter, Familienumgebung und Entwicklung früher kognitiver Fähigkeiten: eine prospektive Studie


  • Dorothea Blomeyer
  • Manfred Laucht
  • Friedhelm Pfeiffer
  • Karsten Reuß


This study examines to which extent the quality of mother-child interaction during infancy can predict cognitive (IQ) and noncognitive skills (persistence) until pre-school age using data from the Mannheim Study of Children at Risk. Mother-child interaction is measured by a ten minute video of a care and a play situation. We estimate econometric models that use psychosocial and organic initial risk conditions at birth, socio-emotional family environment and household income as explanatory variables in addition to mother-child interaction. According to our regressions interaction in the dyad, maternal responsiveness and child's reactivity significantly predict child IQ and persistence already at pre-school age. Moreover, our results demonstrate that maternal responsiveness, an important emotional resource during childhood, varies to a significant degree between families. Thus, children are exposed to mother-child interaction to varying degrees, with inequality-increasing consequences for the formation of cognitive and noncognitive competencies. In der vorliegenden Studie wird anhand von Daten einer prospektiven Längsschnittstudie (Mannheimer Risikokinderstudie) untersucht, welchen Beitrag die Qualität der Mutter-Kind-Interaktion (MKI) im Säuglingsalter zur Vorhersage kognitiver (IQ) und nichtkognitiver Fähigkeiten (Persistenz) bis zum Vorschulalter leistet. Dazu wird ein ökonometrisches Modell verwendet, das zusätzlich zu den durch Verhaltensbeobachtung gewonnenen MKI-Maßen die psychosoziale und organische Risikobelastung zum Zeitpunkt der Geburt, die sozio-emotionale Familienumgebung sowie das Haushaltseinkommen enthalt. Die Verhaltensweisen von Mutter und Kind in der Interaktion tragen bedeutsam zur Prognose des IQ und der Persistenz bei. Der Erklärungswert der Interaktionsvariablen wird durch die anderen Einflussfaktoren nur teilweise eingeschränkt.

Suggested Citation

  • Dorothea Blomeyer & Manfred Laucht & Friedhelm Pfeiffer & Karsten Reuß, 2010. "Mutter-Kind-Interaktion im Säuglingsalter, Familienumgebung und Entwicklung früher kognitiver Fähigkeiten: eine prospektive Studie," Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung / Quarterly Journal of Economic Research, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 79(3), pages 11-26.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwvjh:79-3-2

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Flavio Cunha & James J. Heckman, 2009. "The Economics and Psychology of Inequality and Human DEvelopment," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(2-3), pages 320-364, 04-05.
    2. Pfeiffer, Friedhelm & Reuß, Karsten, 2008. "Age-dependent skill formation and returns to education," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 631-646, August.
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    More about this item


    Early mother-child-interaction; maternal responsiveness; infant reactivity; birth risks; psychosocial risks; competence development; home environment;

    JEL classification:

    • D87 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Neuroeconomics
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth


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