• bronchopulmonary dysplasia;
  • development;
  • mother–infant interactions;
  • chronic illness;
  • chronic lung disease


The purpose of this study was to compare the developmental outcomes and mother–infant interactions of infants with bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) and those of other medically fragile infants. One-hour behavioral observations were made of the interactions of mothers with two groups of infants (23 with BPD, 39 medically fragile without BPD or neurological problems) at enrollment, every 2 months during hospitalization, 1 month after discharge, and at 6 months' and 12 months' corrected age. Assessment of the home environment also was done at 6 and 12 months. Multiple regressions were calculated separately for child mental, adaptive, language, and motor outcomes. Predictors were: home environment assessment, measures of maternal interactive behaviors (positive attention, expression of negative affect, medicalized caregiving), infant group membership, and presence of intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) in the infant. There were no significant differences between the two groups in any of the developmental outcomes or interactive variables, and the presence of IVH had no effect on these variables. Maternal positive attention and the home environment were correlated with mental development, and mother negative affect was related to adaptive behavior for both groups. Differences in developmental and interactive behaviors between infants with BPD and other prematurely born infants found in other studies appear to be a result of chronic health problems and, thus, are not unique to infants with BPD. © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Res Nurs Health 24: 181–193, 2001