In the lead article by Drs. Weiss and Goebel we learn about how parents' touch can impact their preterm infants in their research study entitled, "Parents' Touch of Their Preterm Infants and its Relationship to Their State of Mind Regarding Touch." These authors are to be congratulated for their attempt to empirically measure the complexities of touch. Their investigation yielded fascinating results, one of which is that patterns of touch in parents are found in family of origin styles of touch. Particularly interesting is the development of measures sensitive enough to quantify mothers' touch versus father's touch.
Dr. MacLean's unique work offers readers a look at the compelling subject of the transpersonal dimensions of pre/perinatal life. This is the uncharted ground of the unborn child's journey and a possible link to the pre-existence of the soul. While critiques might come from the larger scientific community around how one could realistically study such a subject, we applaud Dr. MacLean's exploratory work, which is based on the solid ground of discovering qualitative road maps before embarking on empirical study. Her article is entitled, "Transpersonal Dimensions in Healing Trauma of the Unborn Child." And for the reader who might want a little bit more understanding of EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), that was utilized in uncovering transpersonal dynamics, a quick search on the Internet would be informative.
We are very pleased to also include two articles from students in this issue as well. The first offering is by Tara Blasco, a doctoral candidate at the Santa Barbara Graduate Institute (SBGI). Under the guidance of Dr. Thomas Verny the paper addresses that issue rarely voiced in the field of assisted reproductive technology (ART), namely the psychological effects on those not conceived naturally in "Assisted Reproductive Technology: Psychological Effects on Offspring." And while Blasco and Verny carefully include in their article a current literature that argues no harm occurs with ART, in the short time that assisted reproductive technology has been offered, it is fair to say that the long term effects are still an open question.
Secondly, Dorothy Marie Mandel, MA and doctoral student of Saybrook Graduate School and Research Center, authors a very interesting article on psychophysiological resilience. In her article, "Psychophysiological Resilience: A Theoretical Construct Based on Threat Perception and Early Programming of Restorative and Arousal Based Adaptive Mechanisms" she seeks the origins of the stress response. Specifically, the paper describes the neurophysiological mechanisms that likely occur during the pre- and perinatal period around threat. This is an exciting addition for the field of pre- and perinatal psychology that is grounded in hard science.
In the Sharing Space the invitation for more submissions like George Grider's chronicle of his son's life before birth in the Fall, 2002 edition has been accepted. We include Steven Svoboda's piece entitled, "Men Worthy of Praise: Personal Reflections on My First Father's Day, 2002."
Finally, it is with great joy and anticipation that David B. Chamberlain, Ph.D. reviews the new book by Thomas R. Verny with Pamela Weintraub. The title of the book is, "Tomorrow's Baby: The Art and Science of Parenting From Conception Through Infancy." Also, a new video on unassisted childbirth is in the Review section of the journal for consideration as well entitled, "A Clear Road to Birth."
And as spring renews the world, so can we each regenerate our passion for pre- and perinatal psychology ... the earliest developmental, yet wonderfully mystical, stage of human development.
Bobbi Jo Lyman, Ph.D.
JOURNAL OF PRENATAL AND PERINATAL PSYCHOLOGY AND HEALTH publishes research and clinical articles from the cutting edge of the science of prenatal and perinatal psychology and health. The journal, published quarterly since 1986, is dedicated to the in-depth exploration human reproduction and pregnancy and the mental and emotional development of the unborn and newborn child.