Parents' developmental perceptions and expectations for their high-risk infants

J Dev Behav Pediatr. 1992 Apr;13(2):102-7. doi: 10.1097/00004703-199204000-00004.


This study examines the relationship between developmental outcomes of high-risk infants and parental perceptions and expectations. Parents of 209 consecutive high-risk infants were asked to provide their development interpretations and expectations before their infants received standard developmental assessments between April and October 1989. Moderate correlations between parents and professional assessments of motor and language skills were noted (p less than .05 to p less than .01). Most agreements occurred when infants were assessed as normal by professionals. Disagreements were common and occurred in all areas of development. These mismatches were not associated with gestational age at birth, neonatal complications, poverty, or estimates of parental experience. Professionals should take seriously any expressed developmental concerns by parents of high-risk infants. Expressed developmental concerns, however, cannot be relied on for developmental screening of high-risk infants.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude*
  • Brain Damage, Chronic / diagnosis
  • Brain Damage, Chronic / psychology*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Developmental Disabilities / diagnosis
  • Developmental Disabilities / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature, Diseases / diagnosis
  • Infant, Premature, Diseases / psychology*
  • Intensive Care, Neonatal
  • Language Development Disorders / diagnosis
  • Language Development Disorders / psychology
  • Male
  • Neurologic Examination
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Parents / psychology*
  • Psychomotor Disorders / diagnosis
  • Psychomotor Disorders / psychology