Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2011

Document Type

Thesis

Department

Psychology & Neuroscience

First Advisor

Sona Dimidjian

Abstract

The present study sought to examine the effects of a brief loving-kindness meditation (LKM) training on early parenting behaviors, specifically maternal bonding and sensitivity to infant emotion cues. Postpartum women with infants aged 3-6 months were randomly assigned to complete a two-week daily LKM practice at home or to a no-intervention control. Although there was a significant improvement in maternal reports of bonding over time, there was no indication of difference by group. Moreover, although mothers were significantly better at identifying happy versus sad displays of emotion and with less intensity, there were no differences between women who practiced LKM and controls. Findings are discussed with respect to study limitations and important directions for future research.

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