Mother–infant interaction in premature infants at three months after nursery discharge


Leigh Davis, School of Nursing, Queensland University of Technology, Kelvin Grove Campus, Locked Bag No. 2, Red Hill, Qld 4059, Australia. Email:


Both the immature and disorganized behaviour of the premature infant and the psychosocial or socioeconomic factors which adversely affect a mother's responsiveness to her premature infant can jeopardize the mother-infant relationship. At three months after infant hospital discharge, the interactions of 50 premature infants (≤ 32 weeks) and their mothers were videotaped and coded using the Nursing Child Assessment Feeding Scale. The relationship between data derived from the feeding interaction and maternal psychosocial and infant perinatal variables collected at one month after birth and at three months after discharge from hospital were examined. Results showed that the mothers’ use of coping strategies both in hospital and at home were important factors in explaining mother–infant interaction.