The impact of childhood experience has lifelong significance on subsequent health and development. Especially, the experience of infant is mostly affected by the quality of parental care and rearing environment. But the new mothers usually do not know what to do because of the lack of experience in these days. Therefore, an educational program regarding maternal role would be necessary. This study was conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of the maternal role education program for mother-infant interaction, child- rearing environment, and infant development. Non-equivalent control group time-series design was used, and Barnard's mother-infant interaction model was used as a conceptual framework of this study. The subjects were the healthy infants weighing over 2,500gm at birth, whose gestational age was more than 37 weeks, and their mothers. The final sample consisted of 19 mother-infant dyads for intervention group and 18 dyads for control group. Data were collected from March 15th to September 3rd in 1999. For the intervention group, programmed education which focused on mother-infant interaction, breast feeding, and infant care was provided before discharge. Telephone counselling was provided within one week after discharge. Home visiting for maternal role education was provided twice, one month and three months postpartum. For the control group, home visiting was also conducted but only for data collection.
The data were analyzed using chi-square test and t-test to test the equivalence of two groups, and the effectiveness of intervention program was determined with repeated measure ANCOVA and t-test. The results were as follows: 1.
Significant differences were found in mother- infant interaction between two groups(p= .000). It indicates that intervention program was effective in improving mother- infant interaction. In subscale analysis, four out of six subscale showed significant differences between the groups: sensitivity to cues (p=.000), social-emotional growth fostering (p=.000), cognitive growth fostering(p=.000) in mothers, and responsiveness to caregiver (p=.019) in infants.
2.The difference in the mean score of childrearing environment (HOME) between the intervention group and control group was significant(p=.003). When each subscale of HOME was examined individually, intervention group showed significantly higher scores in the diversity of stimulation(p=.000), and mother's involvement(p=.001).
3.Three-month-Infants of the intervention group showed higher GQ in the Griffiths mental development scale(p=.026).
In subscale analysis, significant differences were found in the personal-social(p=.005), and the hearing and speech(p=.003). In conclusion, the maternal role education program proved to be effective in promoting the mother-infant interaction, organizing the childrearing environment, and fostering the infant development. These results are very meaningful that we found maternal role education necessary for normal infants' mothers, and that nurses can make a great contribution in promoting health of infants and mothers.