Applied Developmental Theory: PDF OnlyThe Influence of Touch on Child Development Implications for InterventionBlackwell, Patricia L. PhDAuthor Information Psychologist ParentSource New Orleans, Louisiana The author would like to acknowledge the assistance of Charles Zeanah, MD, in reading a preliminary draft of this article and proving the encouragement and feedback that guided its completion. Infants & Young Children: July 2000 - Volume 13 - Issue 1 - p 25-39 Buy Abstract History, as well as research, has provided compelling evidence of the essential role of touch for child development and mental health. From the historical perspective, it is deprivation, rather than enrichment, that has provided the most formidable lessons about touch and child development. From the research perspective, information from human and nonhuman populations about the relationship between tactile stimulation, physical growth, and brain development has accumulated rapidly. Connections between touch and social-emotional development also have been illustrated. The present article is an outline of historical, socio-cultural, and research information that attest to the fundamental relationship between touch and child development. The implications of these factors for early intervention is presented. ©2000Aspen Publishers, Inc.