The relation of medical risk and maternal stimulation with preterm infants' development of cognitive, language and daily living skills

Karen E. Smith, Paul R. Swank, Susan E. Denson, Susan H. Landry, Constance D. Baldwin, Susan Wildin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

58 Scopus citations


High-risk (HR) and low-risk (LR) preterm infants (N= 212) and full-term infants (FT, N = 128) from low socio-economic homes were studied with their mothers in the home at 6 and 12 months of age. Infants' cognitive, language and daily living skills were evaluated in relation to mothers' warm sensitivity, use of strategies which maintained the infants' attention and directiveness. Higher levels of maternal attention-maintaining were positively related to infant development for all groups. During toy play, attention-maintaining was most strongly related to expressive language skills for the HR infants; during toy play and daily activities, this maternal behavior was more strongly related to cognitive and language skills for both preterm groups than for the FT infants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)855-864
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 1 1996



  • Child development
  • Early intervention
  • Parenting behaviors
  • Very low birth-weight infants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this