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Attention and Organization of Behavior in High-Risk Infants

RUFF HOLLY A. Ph.D.;
Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics: October 1986
Original Articles: PDF Only

ABSTRACT.

Preterm infants at 7 months, corrected age, and 7-month-old full-term infants were videotaped while they played with a series of novel objects for a minute apiece. Each infant's videotape was scored for duration of examining (focused visual inspection), duration of mouthing, and duration of slapping or banging the objects. Full-term infants examined the objects significantly more than the preterms; the two groups showed equivalent levels of mouthing and banging. Each minute was then divided into 15-second segments. Only examining showed a decline over time, and then only for the full-terms. When the three behaviors were compared on the latency to the first episode of the behavior in each trial, it was found that the behavior of the full-terns was clearly differentiated in terms of sequence with examining having the shortest latency, mouthing the next shortest, and banging the longest. For the preterms, however, there were no differences among the mean latencies. The major difference between the two groups was in the latency to examine, which was significantly longer in the preterms. In general, the results for the preterms were not related to developmental level, but appeared to be due to deficits in both reactivity to stimulation and ability to sustain attention.J Dev Behav Pediatr 7:298-301, 1986.

© Lippincott-Raven Publishers.