Observing sensitivity in slums in Yemen: the veiled challenge

Khadija Alsarhi, Rahma, Marielle Prevoo, Lenneke Alink, Judi Mesman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

This study represents the first video observation of parenting practices conducted in Yemen, where women are generally fully veiled, showing only their eyes, in the presence of strangers. A total of 62 mothers and children (aged 2-6 years) were filmed in their homes for 15 minutes during free interaction. The mothers' veils did not hamper the coding of sensitivity. Consistent with the socioeconomically deprived context, average sensitivity levels were low, but over 25% of mothers were rated as (very) sensitive. Mothers with a higher educational level and those experiencing more social support were more sensitive. About half of the mothers had their child perform household chores, which was related to lower sensitivity. Observations revealed frequent looking at the camera. Almost half of the mothers verbally expressed insecurity about the videotaping, and a third expressed awareness of being filmed. Interestingly however, these behaviors were unrelated to Ainsworth ratings of maternal sensitivity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)176-187
Number of pages12
JournalAttachment & Human Development
Volume23
Issue number2
Early online date18 Oct 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • maternal sensitivity
  • Yemen
  • slums
  • video observation
  • INFANT-MOTHER ATTACHMENT
  • MATERNAL SENSITIVITY
  • MIDDLE CHILDHOOD
  • SOCIAL SUPPORT
  • SECURITY
  • ASSOCIATIONS
  • PREDICTORS
  • CHILDREN

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