Late-preterm birth, maternal symptomatology, and infant negativity

Kristin M. Voegtline, Cynthia A. Stifter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


The present study examined infant negativity and maternal symptomatology by term status in a predominately low-income, rural sample of 132 infants (66 late-preterm) and their mothers. Late-preterm and term infants were group-matched by race, income, and maternal age. Maternal depression and anxiety symptoms were measured with the Brief Symptom Inventory 18 (BSI-18) when infants were 2 and 6 months of age. Also at 6 months, infant negativity was assessed by global observer ratings, maternal ratings, and microanalytic behavioral coding of fear and frustration. Results indicate that after controlling for infant age, late-preterm status predicted higher ratings of infant negativity by mothers, but not by global observers or microanalytic coding, despite a positive association in negativity across the three measures. Further, mothers of late-preterm infants reported more elevated and chronic co-morbid symptoms of depression and anxiety, which in turn, was related to concurrent maternal ratings of their infant's negativity. Mothers' response to late-preterm birth and partiality in the assessment of their infant's temperament is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)545-554
Number of pages10
JournalInfant Behavior and Development
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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