Full-term and very-low-birth-weight preterm infants' self-regulating behaviors during a Still-Face interaction: influences of maternal touch.Infant Behav Dev. 2012 Dec; 35(4):779-91.IB
The present study was designed to examine maternal touch and infants' self-regulating behavior in full-term and very-low-birth-weight preterm (VLBW/PT) infant-mother dyads. Mothers and their 5½-month-old full-term (n=40) and VLBW/PT (n=40) infants participated in a Still-Face (SF) procedure. Mothers used high levels of touching (82% of the interaction) and the functions of touch changed across periods. More attention-getting touch was used during the Normal period and more nurturing and playful touch during the Reunion Normal period. Mothers of VLBW/PT infants engaged in more playful touch across periods. Similar amounts of self-regulatory behaviors were observed for both groups across all three periods; however, full-term infants exhibited greater self-comfort regulatory behaviors during the Reunion Normal period. Finally, for both groups the presence and quality of maternal touch were associated with infants' self-regulating behavior; thus providing evidence for the regulatory roles of maternal touch. These findings underscore how both maternal touch and infants' self-regulating behaviors are important and effective components of infants' emotion regulation.