Risk factors for infant attrition and low engagement in experiments and free-play

Oates, John (1998). Risk factors for infant attrition and low engagement in experiments and free-play. Infant Behaviour and Development, 21(4) pp. 555–569.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0163-6383(98)90029-7

Abstract

Forty-three 2-month-old infants participated with their mothers in a laboratory study of factors associated with variations in infants' attrition and levels of attention/engagement in a cognitive-perceptual experiment, and in free-play with their mothers. Increased risk of attrition from the experiment was strongly associated with analgesic medication having been administered during labor and with more restricted maternal perceptions of infants' capacities. Attrition rates and levels of engagement varied independently, showing different patterns of association with explanatory variables. Infants' levels of engagement in the experiment and in free-play were correlated across settings and low levels were associated with a lack of maternal identification with the foetus during early pregnancy and more limited maternal perceptions of their infants' capacities, but were not associated with analgesic medication during labor.

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