Attachment disorganization among children in Neonatal Intensive Care Unit: Preliminary results.

TitleAttachment disorganization among children in Neonatal Intensive Care Unit: Preliminary results.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsPennestri M-H, Gaudreau H, Bouvette-Turcot A-A, Moss E, Lecompte V, Atkinson L, Lydon J, Steiner M, Meaney MJ
Corporate AuthorsMAVAN Research Team
JournalEarly Hum Dev
Volume91
Issue10
Pagination601-6
Date Published2015 Oct
ISSN1872-6232
KeywordsAdult, Apgar Score, Female, Humans, Infant, Infant, Newborn, Intensive Care Units, Neonatal, Intensive Care, Neonatal, Logistic Models, Longitudinal Studies, Male, Mother-Child Relations, Object Attachment, Odds Ratio, Stress, Psychological
Abstract

BACKGROUND: Preterm children have been reported to be at higher risk to develop attachment insecurity.AIMS: The present study aimed to investigate potential differences in attachment security between newborns who were sent to Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and those who were not, in a population of full-term children.STUDY DESIGN: Participants (162 mother-child dyads) were part of a longitudinal study (MAVAN). Twenty-three of these children received special care at birth (NICU group). Attachment security was assessed at 36 months with the Strange Situation Procedure. Socio-economic status (SES), birth weight, maternal mood, maternal sensitivity, mental/psychomotor developmental indexes, Apgar scores, presence of complications during delivery and infant general health were assessed.RESULTS: In the No-NICU group, 55.4% of children were securely attached, 24.5% were insecure and 20.1% were disorganized. However, in the NICU group, 43.5% of children were securely attached, 8.7% were insecure and 47.8% were disorganized (χ(2)=9.0; p=.01). The only differences between the 2 groups were a lower Apgar, more respiratory infections and more visits to walk-in clinic/hospital (p's<.05) and a trend for lower SES and more ear infections in the NICU group. Logistic regressions revealed an odds ratio of 6.1 (p=.003) of developing a disorganized attachment after a stay in NICU, when controlling for these confounding variables.CONCLUSION: Newborns who were admitted to NICU have an odds ratio of about 6 to develop a disorganized attachment at 36 months. These preliminary results support the importance of supportive parental proximity and contact with the infant in the NICU and possible after-care.

DOI10.1016/j.earlhumdev.2015.07.005
Alternate JournalEarly Hum. Dev.
PubMed ID26261864
Grant List93543 / / Canadian Institutes of Health Research / Canada

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