The mother's assessment of the behavior of her infant

Tiffany Martini Field, Jean Rydberg Dempsey, Norma Hayward Hallock, H. H. Shuman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


The Brazelton Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale was modified to be used by mothers. Mothers assessed their infants at birth and at one month on all Brazelton items except reflexes. Trained testers assessed the same infants at birth using the unmodified Brazelton scale. Ratings were converted to a priori process scores. Bayley developmental assessments were made at 8 months to determine relationships between neonatal ratings and later development. The infants included in the study were 32 normal infants who received optimal Brazelton scores and 32 postterm postmature infants who received nonoptimal scores. The latter group was included to check the mothers' objectivity in assessing infant behaviors regardless of the difficulty they presented. There were no differences between mothers' and testers' assessments except that testers assigned more optimal interactive process scores. Normal term infants received more optimal scores from both mothers and testers. Mothers assigned more optimal ratings at one month than at birth. Motoric process scores were correlated with 8-month Bayley motor scores. The adaptiveness of mothers' objectivity in assessing their infants is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)156-167
Number of pages12
JournalInfant Behavior and Development
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1978
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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