Do developmental and temperamental characteristics mediate the association between preterm birth and the quality of mother-child interaction?

Ayelet Harel-Gadassi, Edwa Friedlander, Maya Yaari, Benjamin Bar-Oz, Smadar Eventov-Friedman, David Mankuta, Nurit Yirmiya*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: The current study aims to evaluate the association between preterm birth and the quality of mother-child interaction of very preterm-, moderate preterm-, and full-term-born children at 18 and 36 months and to determine whether developmental and behavioral characteristics mediate the association between preterm birth and the quality of mother-child interaction. Method: Participants included 110 preterm-born children and 39 full-term-born children assessed at ages 18 and 36 months. Mother-child free play interactions, the Mullen Scales of Early Learning, the Infant Behavior Questionnaire, and the Early Childhood Behavior Questionnaire were administered. Results: Significant associations between preterm birth and the quality of mother-child interaction were found at 18 and 36 months. The mother-child interaction quality was less optimal for the preterm-born children compared with the full-term-born children, mainly so for the very preterm-born children. Unlike behavioral characteristics, cognitive development was found to mediate the association between the gestational age-based group and the quality of mother-child interaction. Conclusions: Intervention programs for preterm-born children and their families, should consider maternal and children's behaviors during mother-child interactions, in addition to cognitive, language, motor and emotional regulation abilities, and particularly so with very preterm-born children, who exhibit slower cognitive development.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number101421
JournalInfant Behavior and Development
Volume58
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier Inc.

Keywords

  • Cognitive development
  • Mother-child interaction
  • Mullen scales of early learning
  • Preterm infants
  • Temperament

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