The quality of parent-infant interaction in the first 2 years after full-term and preterm birth

R.A.S. Hall, Hannah N. Hoffenkamp, A. Tooten, J. Braeken, A.J. J. M. Vingerhoets, H.J.A. van Bakel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective.
Relatively few studies have examined stability and/or change in the quality of parenting behaviors across the first years of a preterm infant’s life and how this course may differ from parents of term infants.
Design.
The present study examined the quality and stability of mother–infant and father–infant interaction across the first 2 years post-partum in a sample of 231 Dutch families with either a term or a preterm infant. Video recordings of parent–infant interactions were made at four points (1 day, 1 month, 6 months, and 24 months post-partum), and three aspects of parental behavior (sensitivity, intrusiveness, and withdrawal) and four aspects of infant behavior (positive mood, negative mood, activity level, and sustained attention) were analyzed by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development coding scales. Results.
The study found moderate levels of stability in parenting behaviors, but not in infant behaviors, across time. Prematurity had negligible effects on parental interactive behavior, but clear effects on infant behaviors. Parental background factors (educational level) had strong effects on parental interactive behaviors. Parents who displayed a relatively poor quality parent–infant interaction were likely to have partners who also demonstrated relatively poor quality parent–infant interaction.
Conclusions.
Results recommend early identification of parents who are likely to show poor levels of parenting, inclusion of both mothers and fathers in prevention/intervention programs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)247-268
JournalParenting-Science and Practice
Volume15
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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