Social interaction in infancy: Effects of maternal behaviors on the cognitive development of preterm infants

Mary Knorring Pantuhova (1988)

This paper investigates the relationship between maternal behaviors and infant cognitive development. Mothers of preterm/low birthweight infants and mothers of normal infants were compared on a number of dimensions: Sensitivity and Positive Emotional Expression, Stimulation, and Contingency. Another group of mothers of preterm/low birthweight infants received a early intervention program and were compared on the same dimensions. In contrast to findings by Field (1977, 1982) and Malatesta, Grigoryev, Lamb, Albin, and Culver (1986), results of the present study did not demonstrate behavioral differences between mothers of preterm and normal birthweight infants. However, results did confirm findings by Yarrow, Rubenstein and Pedersen (1975) that maternal affect is linked to certain aspects of infant development. Results did not confirm the hypothesis that early intervention changes maternal behaviors.