ABSTRACT. This prospective study examined how characteristics of infants (i.e., birth weight and perinatal illness severity), mothers (i.e., anxiety and level of education), and the social context (i.e., maternal received and perceived helpfulness of support) related to mother-very low birth weight (VLBW) infant interaction in 72 dyads. Infant, mother, and contextual factors were assessed at 3 and 9 months of age, and mothers and infants were observed in teaching interactions at 9 months. Dyads whose interaction was more sensitive and responsive included mothers who were better educated and less anxious at 3 months and reported higher perceived support at 3 months. The findings highlight the importance of maternal education and well-being in the parenting of VLBW infants.
1Centre for Nursing Research, S.M.B.D. Jewish General Hospital and McGill University School of Nursing, Montreal
2McGill University School of Nursing, Montreal
3Institute for Community and Family Psychiatry, S.M.B.D. Jewish General Hospital, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Received July 2004; accepted October 2004.
Address for reprints: Nancy Feeley, Ph.D., Centre for Nursing Research, Room A-811, S.M.B.D. Jewish General Hospital, 3755 Cote St. Catherine Road, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3T 1E2; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.