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Infant-holding side biases: Comparison of laterality patterns in childcare professionals and mothers or students

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Among the various interactions between an adult and an infant, postural behaviours and their lateral biases expressed by adults for holding an infant represent a growing field of investigation. To better understand the building up of mother/child relationships, the current study reports data concerning infant-holding biases collected in a new population, namely childcare professionals, where experience with and emotional relationships with infants could be classified as intermediate between basic and advanced. Two sub-populations of childcare professionals were studied: women who work in maternity hospitals and women who work in day-care centres. Their infant-holding side preferences were correlated with emotional perceptive biases to ascertain whether hemispheric specialisation influences holding side biases as well as in basic holding relationships. Results showed that childcare professionals behaved like mothers, which means like participants with advanced holding relationships. The discussion emphasises the complexity of infant-holding behaviours and the importance of considering the nature of holding relationships in the study of side-of-hold biases.
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Keywords: Childcare; Cradling; Infant holding; Laterality; Maternity hospitals

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Provence, Aix-en-Provence, France

Publication date: May 1, 2011

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