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Differential Patterns of Development: The Interaction of Birth Weight, Temperament, and Maternal Behavior

GORMAN, KATHLEEN S. Ph.D.; LOURIE, ANDREA E. Ph.D.; CHOUDHURY, NASEEM Ph.D.

Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics: December 2001 - Volume 22 - Issue 6 - p 366-375
Original Articles

A short-term longitudinal study of 83 families compared patterns of development between full-term small for gestational age (SGA) and normal birth weight (NBW) infants. Data were collected on infant temperament and maternal interaction at 3 and 6 months, and infant developmental outcomes at 6 months in order to investigate relationships between infant and maternal behavior, and developmental outcomes as a function of birth weight. Findings revealed few differences between SGA and NBW groups. However, the relations between infant temperament and maternal behavior varied as a function of birth weight and home environment. Specifically, more positive home environments were associated with higher ratings of maternal behavior and lower levels of infant negative reactivity for SGA but not for NBW infants. In addition, higher negative reactivity was related to lower performance on both the mental and psychomotor scales of the Bayley Scales of Infant Development (BSID), with stronger associations reported for SGA infants than for NBW infants.

Department of Psychology, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, Rhode Island (GORMAN)

Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of California San Francisco-Fresno, Fresno, California (LOURIE)

Center for Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience, Rutgers University, Newark, New Jersey (CHOUDHURY)

Address for reprints: Kathleen S. Gorman, Ph.D., Director, Feinstein Center for a Hunger Free America, University of Rhode Island, Providence Campus, 80 Washington St., Providence, RI 02903; e-mail: kgorman@uri.edu; fax: 401-277-5478.

This research was conducted as a dissertation study submitted by Andrea E. Lourie to the University of Vermont in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the doctoral degree in psychology.

Acknowledgments. This study was supported by a grant to Andrea Lourie from Child and Adolescent Psychology Training and Research, Inc., Burlington, Vermont. We would like to thank Susan Crockenberg, Amy Ducker, and our undergraduate research team for their assistance in various aspects of this project.

© 2001 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.