The Caregiving Environment and Developmental Outcomes of Preterm Infants: Diathesis Stress or Differential Susceptibility Effects?

Noa Gueron-Sela, Naama Atzaba-Poria, Gal Meiri, Kyla Marks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations

Abstract

The interactions between premature birth and the caregiving environment on infants' cognitive and social functioning were examined. Participants were 150 infants (83 preterm, 67 full-term) and their parents. When infants were 6 months old, parents reported on their levels of emotional distress, and triadic family interactions were filmed and coded. At 12 months of age, the infants' cognitive and social functioning was assessed. Prematurity moderated the effects of maternal (but not paternal) emotional distress and triadic interactions on infants' cognitive and social outcomes. Whereas for cognitive functioning the interactions were consistent with a diathesis-stress approach, for social functioning the interactions were consistent with a differential susceptibility approach. The differential effects of the caregiving environment between groups and outcomes are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1014-1030
Number of pages17
JournalChild Development
Volume86
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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