Effects of Brazelton demonstrations for mothers on the development of preterm infants

S. M. Widmayer, T. M. Field

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


Thirty healthy preterm infants were randomly assigned either to a control group or to one of two experimental groups. The mothers of the first experimental group were present during an administration of the Brazelton Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale and were asked to complete the Mother's Assessment of the Behavior of Her Infant Scale (MABI) at birth and weekly for four weeks after the discharge of their infants. The mothers of the second experimental group were not present during the administration of the Brazelton scale, but were asked to complete the MABI scale at birth and weekly for the first month after discharge. The mothers of the control infants did not observe administration of the Brazelton scale or complete the MABI scale, but were asked to complete a questionnaire on the developmental milestones of their infants. At 1, 4, and 12 months of age these infants were visited in their homes by teams of the group assignment of the infants. The results at 1 month demonstrated that the experimental groups performed more optimally on the Brazelton scale interactive process items. These infants also received superior ratings on the video-taped feeding and face-to-face play sequences. At 4 months the experimental group infants showed better find motor-adaptive abilities on the Denver Developmental Screening Test than did the control group. In addition, the face-to-face interaction ratings of the two experimental groups were significantly better than were those of the control group. The Bayley Scales of Infant Development were administered when the infants were 12 months corrected age. The infants of the experimental groups received significantly higher scores on the Mental Development Scale. This study suggests that teaching mothers the amazing skills of their newborns on the Brazelton and MABI scales may facilitate early interactions which, in turn, may contribute to early cognitive development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)711-714
Number of pages4
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 1 1981

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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