Maternal Sensitivity: a Resilience Factor against Internalizing Symptoms in Early Adolescents Born Very Preterm?
Gepubliceerd in: Research on Child and Adolescent Psychopathology | Uitgave 4/2017Log in om toegang te krijgen
Compared with full-terms, preterm individuals are more at risk from infancy to adulthood for developing internalizing symptoms. Early maternal interactive behavior, especially maternal sensitivity, has been found to be a resilience factor in the developmental outcome of preterm children. The present longitudinal study aimed at examining whether early interactive parenting behaviors have a long term impact on the internalizing symptoms of preterm-born young adolescents. A total sample of 36 very preterm and 22 full-term children participated in an 11-year follow-up study. Maternal interactive behavior was assessed during a mother–infant interaction when the infant was 18 months old. At 11 years, internalizing symptoms were assessed with the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL). Hierarchical regression analyses revealed that the interaction between groups (preterm/full-term) and maternal sensitivity at 18 months significantly explained CBCL internalizing symptoms at 11 years (β = −0.526; p < 0.05). Specifically, although prematurity was related to internalizing problems, preterm children with higher maternal sensitivity did not differ from their full-term-born peers on the CBCL internalizing problems domain. These results suggest that maternal sensitivity is a long-term resilience factor preventing the development of internalizing problems at early adolescence in very preterm individuals.