Low birth weight (LBW) infants' exploratory behavior at 12 and 24 months: effects of intraventricular hemorrhage and mothers' attention directing behaviors

Res Dev Disabil. 1993 May-Jun;14(3):237-49. doi: 10.1016/0891-4222(93)90033-g.


Medically high-risk (HR), low birth weight (LBW) preterm infants (n = 11) with significant degrees of intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) were seen at 12 and 24 months of age. This HR group was compared with a low-risk (LR) LBW preterm group (n = 16) with respiratory distress syndrome or mild grades of IVH, and a normal full-term (FT) group (n = 12). Infants and their mothers were observed in a 10-min toy-centered play interaction to determine if more advanced exploratory play occurred in association with specific maternal attention-directing behaviors. Results showed that the FT infants were able to respond with advanced exploratory play to unstructured as well as structured strategies, but that higher level play for the LR infants was associated with structured strategies. The HR infants showed fewer play responses than the other two infant groups regardless of whether mothers used structured or unstructured strategies. All infant groups showed more exploratory play behavior in relation to mothers' maintaining versus redirecting behavior.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Attention / physiology*
  • Birth Weight
  • Brain Damage, Chronic / physiopathology
  • Brain Damage, Chronic / psychology
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / physiopathology
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / psychology*
  • Cerebral Ventricles / physiopathology*
  • Exploratory Behavior* / physiology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Low Birth Weight / psychology*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Maternal Behavior*
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome, Newborn / physiopathology
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome, Newborn / psychology