Author(s): Feldman R, Weller A, Sirota L, Eidelman AI
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Abstract The effect of mother-infant skin-to-skin contact (kangaroo care, or KC) on self-regulatory processes of premature infants was studied. Seventy-three infants who received KC were compared with 73 infants matched for birth weight, gestational age, medical risk, and family demographics. State organization was measured in 10-s epochs over 4 hr before KC and again at term. No differences between KC infants and controls were found before KC. At term, KC infants showed more mature state distribution and more organized sleep-wake cyclicity. At 3 months, KC infants had higher thresholds to negative emotionality and more efficient arousal modulation while attending to increasingly complex stimuli. At 6 months, longer duration of and shorter latencies to mother-infant shared attention and infant sustained exploration in a toy session were found for KC infants. The results underscore the importance of maternal body contact for infants' physiological, emotional, and cognitive regulatory capacities.
This article was published in Dev Psychol
and referenced in Clinics in Mother and Child Health