Affective behavior and weight changes among hospitalized failure‐to‐thrive infants

Sheri Goldstein, Tiffany M Field

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations


The affective behavior and weight change of 12 nonorganic failure‐to‐thrive, 12 organic failure‐to‐thrive, and 12 control infants (M age = 8 months) were compared across their hospitalization. Infant affect was evaluated at approximately the beginning, middle, and endpoints of hospitalization using the Behavioral Assessment Scale. Among the failure‐to‐thrive infants, positive responses to stimulation at the initial assessment were related to weight loss across the course of hospitalization, while positive responses to the same stimulation at the middle assessment were related to weight gain. These unexpected results coupled with the finding that 70% of the failure‐to‐thrive infants gained weight and 30% lost weight across hospitalization led to a comparison between infants who gained and infants who lost weight. An increase in positive affect across hospitalization occurred only for the infants who gained weight. Paradoxically, the losers may have experienced hospital stimulation as less adequate than maternal stimulation, while the gainers may have experienced hospital stimulation as more adequate than home stimulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)187-194
Number of pages8
JournalInfant Mental Health Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1985


ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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