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August 1987

The Response of Black Mothers to the [ill]irth of an Albino Infant

Author Affiliations

From the Medical Research Council Human Ecogenetics Research Unit, Department of Human Genetics, School of Pathology, The South African Institute for Medical Research and University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.

Am J Dis Child. 1987;141(8):911-916. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1987.04460080097038

• The nature of the response of 37 [ill]ack mothers to their albino infants, in [ill]mparison with matched controls, was [ill]vestigated longitudinally by means of [ill]terviews and observations. Mothers [ill]ere found initially to be depressed and [ill]happy, uncomfortable with close con[ill]ct with their infants, and reluctant to [ill]old and breast-feed them. When ob[ill]erved in interaction with the infants, the [ill]others showed fewer behaviors in [ill]omparison with the controls. Three [ill]onths later the mothers appeared to be [ill]teracting normally with their infants, [ill]ut they expressed feelings of unhap[ill]ness that persisted until the infants [ill]eached 9 months of age. The birth of an [ill]bino infant seems to cause a de lay in [ill]aternal attachment and a sadness [ill]imilar to that described in connection [ill]ith the birth of an infant with other [ill]ongenital disorders.

(AJDC 1987;141:911-916)