Developing Relationships Between Very Low Birthweight Infants and Their Parents: A Look at Timing of Intervention in Relation to Infant and Maternal Characteristics

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Early Childhood Services: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Effectiveness

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This study examined correlates and predictors of attachment security for very low birth weight (VLBW) infants. Infants who were less sick at birth were more likely to develop secure attachments one year later than infants who were sicker at birth. Interestingly, none of the maternal risk variables (parenting stress, low education) or supportive behaviors (sensitivity) predicted attachment security. The timing of early intervention supports, measured by the number of days between discharge from the NICU and the first home visit, predicted attachment security above and beyond these maternal and child factors. These results suggest that having supports such as early intervention available through home visits to families shortly after their infants arrive home promotes the developing parent-child relationship related to secure attachment, an important predictor of cognitive and social skills. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)

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