Child development literature suggests a relationship between mother-child interaction and enhanced infant development. We conducted a randomized clinical trial to determine if a pediatrician's guidance improves the mother-infant relationship and the infant's development. Thirty-two normal mothers and their healthy first-born infants were followed by one pediatrician at 2, 4, 8, 15, and 21 weeks of age. These dyads were randomly assigned to a control group, who received customary care, or to an intervention group, who also received guidance based on the infant's developmental status at each age. Just prior to a 27-week visit, the mother-infant relationship was assessed by a person blind to group assignment. Infant development was assessed with the Bayley Mental Scales of Infant Development and two of the Uzguris-Hunt Ordinal Scales. Intervention group mothers were rated significantly higher on sensitivity, cooperation, appropriateness of interaction, and appropriateness of play (P < .05). Experimental infants were advanced on the Vocal Imitation ordinal scale. This study shows the effectiveness of this intervention on both the mother-infant relationship and infant development and supports pediatric involvement in this biosocial approach to well child care.
- Received April 6, 1979.
- Accepted May 30, 1979.
- Copyright © 1980 by the American Academy of Pediatrics