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.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was supported by the Shalem Fund , Grant no. 90 (NY), the Harris Foundation (NY) , the Milton Rosenbaum Foundation for Psychiatric Research (SEF) , the Teva-NNS Neuroscience scholarship (MY) , and the Artery Chair in Personality Studies endowed by Goldberg, Geller, and Luria (NY) .
© 2020 Elsevier Inc.
- Cognitive development
- Mother-child interaction
- Mullen scales of early learning
- Preterm infants