• guided participation;
  • premature infant;
  • maternal caregiving;
  • feeding competencies;
  • mother–infant feeding interaction;
  • poverty;
  • bronchopulmonary dysplasia;
  • depressive symptoms


The effect of guided participation (GP) on premature infant and maternal feeding competencies was examined, controlling for infant, maternal, and family conditions. Competencies were examined longitudinally and within age (1, 4, 8, and 12 months post-term age) for 42 mother–infant pairs randomly assigned to either GP or Standard Care (SC) groups. The hypothesized GP effect on competencies across infant age received support for infants (at 1 and 8 months) and for mothers (at 4 months). The hypothesized contribution of conditions was most strongly supported by the negative relationship between family poverty status and the two maternal competency variables. The hypothesized GP moderator effect on the relationship between depressive symptoms and maternal competency variables was supported for regulation of negative affect and behavior at 8 months. Despite study limitations in power and sensitivity to detect effects, findings indicate that further study of the GP intervention is merited. © 2005 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Res Nurs Health 28: 252–267, 2005