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Mother- and Father-Preterm Infant Relationship in the Hospital Preterm Nursery

Rachel Levy-Shiff, Haya Sharir and Mario B. Mogilner
Child Development
Vol. 60, No. 1 (Feb., 1989), pp. 93-102
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Society for Research in Child Development
DOI: 10.2307/1131075
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1131075
Page Count: 10
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Mother- and Father-Preterm Infant Relationship in the Hospital Preterm Nursery
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Abstract

The relationships of Israeli mothers and fathers with their 38 preterm infants during hospitalization were traced in a short-term longitudinal study. Parent-infant interactions were observed and self-reports of parental feelings and perceptions were assessed twice: at the beginning and end of the nursery period. Mothers engaged in more caregiving, talking, and holding during initial contacts, but the disparity in maternal and paternal interactions decreased with time. Except for caregiving, in which mothers still surpassed fathers, fathers equaled mothers in all other activities at the time of the infants' discharge from the hospital. Fathers consistently surpassed mothers in playing and stimulating. Mothers peceived their infants to be more difficult than did fathers but reported enjoying them more. With time, parents were less disappointed and concerned over the infants' well-being but perceived them as more difficult. The data also demonstrated an association between infant behavioral states, parental feelings and perceptions, and parental behavior.

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