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A Journal on Pediatrics, Neonatology, Adolescent Medicine,
Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

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Minerva Pediatrica 2016 October;68(5):319-29


language: English

Parenting after preterm birth: link between infant medical risk and premature parenthood. A pilot study

Stefania CATAUDELLA 1, Jessica LAMPIS 1, Alessandra BUSONERA 2, Giulio C. ZAVATTINI 2

1 Department of Pedagogy, Psychology, Philosophy, University of Cagliari, Cagliari, Italy; 2 Department of Dynamic and Clinical Psychology, Sapienza, University of Rome, Rome, Italy


BACKGROUND: The aim of the present study was to examine the relationship between parental emotion regulation, infant medical risks and representation of child’s behavior at 3 months corrected age.
METHODS: The sample includes 28 couples (parents) and 32 preterm infants (4 set of twins) (AG average: 29 weeks), low birth weight (average weight: 1180.62 g), hospitalized for about two months. At the 3rd month of corrected age of the child all couples were interviewed using the “Clinical Interview for Parents of High Risk Infants” (CLIP), which explores the emotional aspects associated with preterm birth. The interviews were recorded, transcribed and analysed using ATLAS.TI. After the interview, only 14 mothers and 14 fathers completed the Behavior Rating Scale (SVC-80; Laicardi, 1998), which explores the observational-representative styles of each parent with respect to the child’s behavior in the context of everyday life. We identified three Couples Groups indicating qualitative differences in the emotional functioning of the subjects mainly in the temporal dimension: 1) 12 “future-oriented”; 2) 12 “suspended in the present”; 3) 4 “oriented to the past”.
RESULTS: The results show that the infant’s medical status has a impact on ability of parents to process the experience of preterm birth: increasing the infant’s medical risks increases the difficulty of parents ability to process the experience.
CONCLUSIONS: The CLIP can be a useful screening tool to identify difficulties of parents, to structure interventions focused on the elaboration of the traumatic experience of birth and on improving the quality of parent-infant relationship.

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Cite this article as

Cataudella S, Lampis J, Busonera A, Zavattini GC. Parenting after preterm birth: link between infant medical risk and premature parenthood. A pilot study. Minerva Pediatr 2016 October;68(5):319-29. 

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