Differential impact of parenting sick infants

Debra Bendell, Marylu Skinner Goldberg, Mary Theresa Urbano, Richard C. Urbano, Charles R Bauer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Parenting a newborn infant has been identified as a significant stressor, and parenting a sick infant evokes an even greater stress. This study evaluated the differential impact of parenting infants with interrupted infantile apnea vs. extremely low birth weight infants. These infants were compared to normal infants on the Bayley Scales of Infant Assessment and the Parenting Stress Index when the infants were 6 months old. Significant effects on the mental index revealed that the low birthweight infants performed more poorly than did the other groups. A stepwise multiple discriminant analysis on the Parenting Stress Index suggested that child adaptability, maternal restrictions, isolation, and health were significant stressors. Mothers of apneic infants were affected most severely by their child's illness. The lower educational level of these mothers may have influenced these findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)28-36
Number of pages9
JournalInfant Mental Health Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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