Fathers' and mothers' responses to the faces and cries of normal and premature infants
videotapes of premature vs full-term quiescent vs crying newborn infants, physiological arousal & mood, mothers vs fathers with 5 mo old infants
32 White, middle-class couples with 5-mo-old infants were shown videotapes depicting infants who were, in turn quiescent, crying, and quiescent. Half of the parents viewed a normal (full-term) newborn, while half viewed a premature infant. Sound tracks were dubbed so that half of the normal and half of the premature infants "emitted" the cry of a normal infant, while the other half emitted the cry of a premature infant. Physiological (heart rate, diastolic blood pressure, and skin conductance) and self-report measures (a mood adjective checklist and an infant temperament measure) were gathered. The cry of the premature infant elicited greater autonomic arousal and was perceived as more aversive than the cry of the normal infant. The effect was especially pronounced when the premature cry was paired with the face of a premature infant. There were few sex differences. Results are discussed with reference to demographic evidence indicating that prematurely born children are "at risk" for child abuse. (30 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved). © 1978 American Psychological Association.
Original Publication Date
DOI of published version
Frodi, Ann M. and et al, "Fathers' and mothers' responses to the faces and cries of normal and premature infants" (1978). Faculty Publications. 5018.