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Discriminating among Normal Infants by Multivariate Analysis of Brazelton Scores: Lumping and Smoothing

Kenneth Kaye
Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development
Vol. 43, No. 5/6, Organization and Stability of Newborn Behavior: A Commentary on the Brazelton Neonatal Behavior Assessment Scale (1978), pp. 60-80
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Society for Research in Child Development
DOI: 10.2307/1165851
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1165851
Page Count: 21
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Discriminating among Normal Infants by Multivariate Analysis of Brazelton Scores: Lumping and Smoothing
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Abstract

Research on the Brazelton Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale is presented in a series of reports from eight laboratories. The first two reports discuss the rationale and a priori organization of the scales. The next series of reports describe data on reliability, stability, and factor analysis of the scales as well as relationships to behavior after the newborn period. Following a discussion of cross-cultural influences on the context of testing is a summary report which reviews the current status of newborn assessment. An Annotated Bibliography of Research with the scales is appended. General conclusions are that the scales assess many dimensions of newborn behavior which can be summarized in factors or clusters. However, day-to-day stability of individual items, factors, or clusters is generally low. In addition, there are only weak relationships between newborn scores and later behavior. These poor test-retest relationships are interpreted as reflecting the rapid development and behavioral changes that occur during the newborn period rather than as a weakness in the scales themselves. While the scales have not been useful in identifying stable individual differences among newborn infants, they do serve to specify the contemporary behavior of the infant.

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