A 6-point scale was employed to code the infant affect, ranging from 1 (very positive degree of engagement) to 6 (intense cry as the sign of very negative engagement). Coding categories were termed in the following way: 1. very positive; 2. positive; 3. neutral; 4. fuss negative; 5. cry; and 6. intense cry. For babies, intense cry meant that the infant reacted negatively to mother’s behaviour, looking away or withdrawing. Fuss negative meant that the baby reacted negatively to mother’s actions, but still looked toward mother. Neutral was recorded on the scale when the infant had neutral facial expressions, looking away from mother. Positive meant that the baby was smiling, yet looking away from mother; and very positive was coded when the infant was smiling and gazing towards the mother.
For mothers, very negative was coded when the participant expressed anger or annoyance and rough or invasive treatment of the baby. Negative was coded when the mother expressed emotions of sadness or when she was leaning away from the child.
The 5-minute play was ranged on a 7- or 9-point scale. The four dimensions that preceded the ‘still-face’ stage were: 1. maternal sensitivity; 2. maternal intrusiveness; 3. maternal hostility; 4. infant responsiveness.
It should be noted that we coded mothers’ looking away and degree of sensitivity towards babies in the similar manner that was used to systematize infants’ behaviour. Positive was coded when the mother showed simple smiles, looking toward or away from the child. Very positive was coded when the mother expressed very sensitive and affirmative emotions represented by the play, hugs, or rhythmic body movements.
As noted above, the limitations of our experiment included the following: lack of training in coding; inability to construct our own coding or measuring scale and the need to rely on the one employed by Kogan and Carter (1996); relying on the video piece as the primary source of information about the experiment.
A typical contingency table consists of a number of rows and columns which show the contingency or relationship between two variables, where the variables have been classified into mutually exclusive categories and where the data consist of frequencies. A contingency table is also called a cross-tabulation table since the frequencies in the categories of one variable are tabulated across the frequencies in the categories of the other variable (Camilli and Hopkins, 1979).