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J Dev Behav Pediatr. 1995 Feb;16(1):21-8.

Early intervention with Portuguese mothers: a 2-year follow-up.

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Unidade de Desenvolvimento e Comportamento Infantil Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal.


Results of a 2-year follow-up after an early intervention with low-middle-class primiparous Portuguese mothers are presented. On the 3rd day of their infants' lives, 40 mothers underwent a structured intervention using selected items of the Brazelton Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale. An additional 20 mothers randomized to the control group had a talk with a pediatrician about general problems of infant health care. On Day 28, the "sensory orientation" and "cuddliness" competencies of the infants in the experimental group were significantly enhanced when compared with the same competencies among the infants in the control group. In addition, dyads in the experimental group had established a more favorable pattern of interaction, particularly after short stressful situations (these situations included short separations from the mother in which a stranger was present, short separations in which no one was present, and a stillface situation). Short-term effects (the first month of life) were particularly noticeable, especially in terms of the babies' neurobehavioral development and mother-infant interaction. Long-term effects (3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, and 24 months), though less clear, were evident in the form of better interactive patterns among the dyads in the experimental group. This was particularly evident after the stressful situations to which they were submitted. These results are discussed in terms of both their scope and their clinical impact.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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