Document Detail

Preterm infants who are prone to distress: differential effects of parenting on 36-month behavioral and cognitive outcomes.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22582942     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
BACKGROUND: The differential susceptibility (DS) model suggests that temperamentally prone-to-distress infants may exhibit adverse outcomes in negative environments but optimal outcomes in positive environments. This study explored temperament, parenting, and 36-month cognition and behavior in preterm infants using the DS model. We hypothesized that temperamentally prone to distress preterm infants would exhibit more optimal cognition and fewer behavior problems when early parenting was positive; and less optimal cognition and more behavior problems when early parenting was less positive.
METHODS: Participants included 109 preterm infants (gestation <37 weeks) and their mothers. We assessed neonatal risk and basal vagal tone in the neonatal intensive care unit; infant temperament and parenting interactions at 9 months post-term; and child behavior and cognitive skills at 36 months post-term. Hierarchical regression analyses tested study hypotheses.
RESULTS: Temperamentally prone-to-distress infants exhibited more externalizing problems if they experienced more critical parenting at 9 months (β = -.20, p < 0.05) but fewer externalizing problems with more positive parenting. Similarly, variations in maternal positive affect (β = .25, p < .01) and intrusive behaviors (β = .23, p < .05) at 9 months predicted 36-month cognition at high but not at low levels of infant temperamental distress. Higher basal vagal tone predicted fewer externalizing problems (β = -.19, p < .05).
CONCLUSIONS: Early parenting behaviors relate to later behavior and development in preterm infants who are temperamentally prone to distress, and neonatal basal vagal tone predicts subsequent externalizing behaviors. These findings suggest that both biological reactivity and quality of caregiving are important predictors for later outcomes in preterm infants and may be considered as foci for developmental surveillance and interventions.
Julie Poehlmann; Amanda Hane; Cynthia Burnson; Sarah Maleck; Elizabeth Hamburger; Prachi E Shah
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2012-05-15
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of child psychology and psychiatry, and allied disciplines     Volume:  53     ISSN:  1469-7610     ISO Abbreviation:  J Child Psychol Psychiatry     Publication Date:  2012 Oct 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-09-27     Completed Date:  2013-03-14     Revised Date:  2013-10-17    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0375361     Medline TA:  J Child Psychol Psychiatry     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1018-25     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
© 2012 The Authors. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry © 2012 Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health.
Human Development & Family Studies, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Child Behavior / psychology
Child Behavior Disorders / epidemiology,  psychology*
Child, Preschool
Cognition Disorders / epidemiology,  psychology*
Infant, Newborn
Infant, Premature / psychology*
Intelligence Tests / statistics & numerical data
Intensive Care Units, Neonatal
Internal-External Control
Maternal Behavior / psychology
Mother-Child Relations
Mothers / psychology
Parenting / psychology*
Stress, Psychological / psychology*
Wisconsin / epidemiology
Grant Support

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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