The present study examined predictive linkages between cumulative psychosocial and medical risk, assessed neonatally, and infant development and parenting stress at 4 months of infant corrected age. Predominantly low-income, African-American mothers and their preterm infants served as participants. Cumulative psychosocial risk predicted early mental, but not motor development, while cumulative medical risk predicted both mental and motor development. Cumulative psychosocial risk, but not medical risk, predicted parenting stress. Few studies of preterm infants have reported links between cumulative psychosocial risk and infant development at such an early age, nor has earlier work found associations between cumulative psychosocial risk and mothers' perceptions of parenting. Results support the premise that early intervention should target both the medical and psychosocial needs of low-income families with preterm infants, and that addressing psychosocial stressors shortly after birth may improve developmental outcomes in infancy.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental and Educational Psychology