Intervention with African American premature infants: Four-month results of an early intervention program

Douglas M. Teti, Maureen M. Black, Rose Viscardi, Penny Glass, Melissa A. O'Connell, Linda Baker, Regina Cusson, Christine Reiner Hess

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


This study evaluates the efficacy of an early intervention program targeting African American mothers and their premature, low birth weight infants at 3 to 4 months' corrected age from four neonatal intensive care units, 173 families are recruited (84 intervention, 89 control). The 8-session, 20-week intervention consists of a psychoeducational video, serial administrations of the Brazelton Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale, and maternally administered infant massage. At postintervention, intervention mothers have higher maternal self-efficacy than control. Extremely low birth weight (ELBW) intervention infants have significantly higher Bayley Mental Development Index (MDI) scores than ELBW control infants, but no intervention effects are observed among heavier preterm infants. Among infants of families living above federally established poverty thresholds, intervention infants have higher MDI scores than control infants. No intervention effects were found for infants of families living in poverty. Findings emphasize the importance of considering meaningful moderators in evaluations of early intervention effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)146-166
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Early Intervention
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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