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 envi-ronment and household income as explanatory variables in addition to mother-child interac-tion. 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 con-sequences for the formation of cognitive and noncognitive competencies.
Blomeyer, Dorothea , Manfred Laucht, Friedhelm Pfeiffer and Karsten Reuß (2010), Mutter-Kind-Interaktion im Säuglingsalter, Familienumgebung und Entwicklung früher kognitiver und nicht-kognitiver Fähigkeiten: eine prospektive Studie, DIW Viertelsjahreshefte für Wirtschaftsforschung 79(3), 11-26.