The effect of joint attention interactions on the attending abilities of very low birth weight infants



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This research concerns the Influence of infant and maternal characteristics on the quality of mother-infant joint attention interactions for very low birth weight (VLBW) infants. VLBW infants, at six months conceptual age, were grouped according to severity of medical complications and compared to ful 1 term infants. Attentional and reaching responses to toys were coded from videotapes for an Infant alone and Infant with mother conditions. MANOVAs revealed that the VLBW infants with severe degrees of intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) and chronic respiratory problems (high risk group: n = 21) had more difficulty attending to and reaching for toys than either the fullterm (n = 25) or the low risk VLBW infants (n = 25). The Infants In all groups showed increased attention to toys and noticed more toys In interactions as compared to alone. Maternal behaviors and attitudes predicted the infants' attending abilities. Results show that mothers provide a facilitative effect even for Infants who showed attentional difficulties when looking at toys on their own.



Newborn infants, Infant psychology, Birth weight, Low