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      Maternal sensitivity and social support protect against childhood atopic dermatitis


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          Many studies have identified associations between qualities of maternal–child relationships and childhood asthma, but few have examined associations with childhood atopic dermatitis (AD), a common precursor to asthma. Moreover, maternal psychological distress, including prenatal and postnatal depression, anxiety and stress, may increase risk, while social support from partners may reduce risk for childhood AD. We sought to uncover the association between maternal–infant relationship qualities (maternal sensitivity towards infant behavioral signals, controlling behavior, and unresponsiveness) and child AD after accounting for risk (i.e., prenatal and postnatal maternal depression, anxiety and stress) and protective (i.e., social support) factors.


          We conducted a secondary analysis of data collected on a subsample of 242 women and their infants enrolled during pregnancy in the ongoing Alberta Pregnancy Outcomes and Nutrition cohort study. Inclusion criteria required mothers to be >16 years of age, English speaking and <22 weeks gestational age at enrollment. Data on depression, anxiety and stress in the prenatal and postnatal periods and physician diagnosis of childhood AD at 18 months were gathered via maternal report. Maternal sensitivity, unresponsiveness and controlling behaviours were assessed via videotaped observations using the Child-Adult Relationship Experimental (CARE)-Index at 6 months of infant age.


          Higher maternal sensitivity, or the inability of the mother to appropriately understand and respond to infant needs based on behavioral signals, predicted reduced odds of AD independent of and in combination with low prenatal and postnatal anxiety and high paternal support. After adjustment, higher maternal controlling behaviours and unresponsiveness also predicted greater odds of AD.


          Low maternal sensitivity is a risk factor for childhood AD, independently and in combination with perinatal anxiety and low social support. Thus, interventions that improve maternal–infant relationship quality, especially sensitivity, reduce anxiety and improve social support from partners could reduce odds of childhood AD.

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          Atopic dermatitis and the atopic march.

          J. Spergel (2003)
          Atopic dermatitis (AD), one of the most common skin disorders seen in infants and children, usually has its onset during the first 6 months of life. The prevalence of AD is similar in the United States, Europe, and Japan and is increasing, similar to that of other atopic disorders, particularly asthma. AD has been classified into 3 sequential phases: infantile, childhood, and adult, each with characteristic physical findings. AD has a tremendously negative effect on the quality of life of patients as well as family, most commonly disturbing sleep. The condition also creates a great financial burden for both the family and society. The cutaneous manifestations of atopy often represent the beginning of the atopic march. On the basis of several longitudinal studies, approximately half of AD patients will develop asthma, particularly with severe AD, and two thirds will develop allergic rhinitis. Epicutaneous sensitization has been thought to be responsible, with subsequent migration of sensitized T cells into the nose and airways, causing upper and lower airway disease. Animal models and human observation concur with this theory. Preliminary prevention studies with oral antihistamines provide evidence that early intervention might slow the atopic march.
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            The development of instruments to measure the work disability assessment behaviour of insurance physicians

            Background Variation in assessments is a universal given, and work disability assessments by insurance physicians are no exception. Little is known about the considerations and views of insurance physicians that may partly explain such variation. On the basis of the Attitude - Social norm - self Efficacy (ASE) model, we have developed measurement instruments for assessment behaviour and its determinants. Methods Based on theory and interviews with insurance physicians the questionnaire included blocks of items concerning background variables, intentions, attitudes, social norms, self-efficacy, knowledge, barriers and behaviour of the insurance physicians in relation to work disability assessment issues. The responses of 231 insurance physicians were suitable for further analysis. Factor analysis and reliability analysis were used to form scale variables and homogeneity analysis was used to form dimension variables. Thus, we included 169 of the 177 original items. Results Factor analysis and reliability analysis yielded 29 scales with sufficient reliability. Homogeneity analysis yielded 19 dimensions. Scales and dimensions fitted with the concepts of the ASE model. We slightly modified the ASE model by dividing behaviour into two blocks: behaviour that reflects the assessment process and behaviour that reflects assessment behaviour. The picture that emerged from the descriptive results was of a group of physicians who were motivated in their job and positive about the Dutch social security system in general. However, only half of them had a positive opinion about the Dutch Work and Income (Capacity for Work) Act (WIA). They also reported serious barriers, the most common of which was work pressure. Finally, 73% of the insurance physicians described the majority of their cases as 'difficult'. Conclusions The scales and dimensions developed appear to be valid and offer a promising basis for future research. The results suggest that the underlying ASE model, in modified form, is suitable for describing the assessment behaviour of insurance physicians and the determinants of this behaviour. The next step in this line of research should be to validate the model using structural equation modelling. Finally, the predictive value should be tested in relation to outcome measurements of work disability assessments.
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              Parent-infant synchrony and the construction of shared timing; physiological precursors, developmental outcomes, and risk conditions.

              Synchrony, a construct used across multiple fields to denote the temporal relationship between events, is applied to the study of parent-infant interactions and suggested as a model for intersubjectivity. Three types of timed relationships between the parent and child's affective behavior are assessed: concurrent, sequential, and organized in an ongoing patterned format, and the development of each is charted across the first year. Viewed as a formative experience for the maturation of the social brain, synchrony impacts the development of self-regulation, symbol use, and empathy across childhood and adolescence. Different patterns of synchrony with mother, father, and the family and across cultures describe relationship-specific modes of coordination. The capacity to engage in temporally-matched interactions is based on physiological mechanisms, in particular oscillator systems, such as the biological clock and cardiac pacemaker, and attachment-related hormones, such as oxytocin. Specific patterns of synchrony are described in a range of child-, parent- and context-related risk conditions, pointing to its ecological relevance and usefulness for the study of developmental psychopathology. A perspective that underscores the organization of discrete relational behaviors into emergent patterns and considers time a central parameter of emotion and communication systems may be useful to the study of interpersonal intimacy and its potential for personal transformation across the lifespan.

                Author and article information

                Allergy Asthma Clin Immunol
                Allergy Asthma Clin Immunol
                Allergy, Asthma, and Clinical Immunology : Official Journal of the Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
                BioMed Central (London )
                26 May 2017
                26 May 2017
                : 13
                [1 ]ISNI 0000 0004 1936 7697, GRID grid.22072.35, Faculty of Nursing, , University of Calgary, ; Calgary, AB T2N 1N4 Canada
                [2 ]ISNI 0000 0004 1936 7697, GRID grid.22072.35, Cumming School of Medicine, Departments of Pediatrics & Psychiatry, , University of Calgary, ; Calgary, AB T2N 4N1 Canada
                [3 ]GRID grid.17089.37, Departments of Pediatrics, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, and School of Public Health, , University of Alberta, ; Edmonton, AB T6G 2R3 Canada
                [4 ]ISNI 0000 0004 1936 7697, GRID grid.22072.35, Department of Psychology, , University of Calgary, ; Calgary, AB T2N 1N4 Canada
                [5 ]ISNI 0000 0004 1936 7697, GRID grid.22072.35, Cumming School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics & Community Health Sciences, , University of Calgary, ; Calgary, AB T2N 4N1 Canada
                [6 ]Child Development Centre, ACHRI Owerko Centre, 3rd Floor, 2888 Shaganappi Trail, Calgary, AB T3B 6A8 Canada
                © The Author(s) 2017

                Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

                Funded by: FundRef http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/501100002722, AllerGen;
                Funded by: FundRef http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/501100000024, Canadian Institutes of Health Research;
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                © The Author(s) 2017

                atopic dermatitis,childhood,maternal–infant relationship,sensitivity,responsiveness,control,depression,anxiety,stress,social support


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