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West J Nurs Res. 1999 Jun;21(3):292-307; discussion 308-12.

Parent-child interactions and development of toddlers born preterm.

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  • 1Department of Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta.


Fathers and mothers of 49 healthy preterm and 54 full-term infants were observed interacting with their child at 3 and 12 months using the Nursing Child Assessment Teaching Scale. Each parent completed the Parenting Stress Index at both times. At 18 months adjusted age, the children were assessed using the Bayley Scales of Infant Development, Sequenced Inventory of Communication Development-Revised, and MacArthur Communicative Development Inventory. Preterm children scored significantly lower on the Bayley Mental scale and on the number of words produced. Early parent-child interactions contributed to the child's development. Mother's interactions with the child, child gender, and family socioeconomic status predicted 17% of the variance in the Bayley Mental score. Mother's and father's interactions with the child, child gender, and the child's behavior with his or her mother predicted 22% of the variance in receptive communication skills.

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