Sudden infant death syndrome temperament before death

Richard L. Naeye, John Messmer, Thomas Specht, T. Allen Merritt

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65 Scopus citations


A retrospective study was made of the behavioral patterns of 46 infants whose deaths were attributed to the sudden infant death syndrome. Controls were the victims' siblings. Data concerning the infants' behavioral pattern were collected retrospectively from the parents, utilizing a modification of the Carey temperament questionnaire. The parents' recollection of the victims indicated that they: (1) had less intense reactions to environmental stimuli, (2) were less active physically, (3) were more breathless and exhausted during feeding, and (4) had more abnormal cries. These behavioral characteristics had a positive correlation with various postmortem evidences of antecedent chronic hypoventilation and hypoxemia. It would be a serious error for any parent to be told that their infant was at risk based on the behavioral pattern reported retrospectively by parents of victims of SIDS, because the pattern is also a common one in other infants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)511-515
Number of pages5
JournalThe Journal of Pediatrics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1976

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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