This research study examined the hypothesis that preverbal children are capable of implicitly and explicitly registering their prenatal and perinatal experiences and of subsequently communicating these experiences through their behavior. It asked the question, Can trained observers accurately identify preverbal children?s prenatal and perinatal experiences based on the children?s behavior in a therapeutic setting? The study utilized mixed-method analysis, and accuracy was assessed according to the degree of correspondence between the observers? interpretations of behaviors and the pregnancy and birth history as described by the child?s parents and/or his or her therapist(s). The results revealed a high degree of correspondence (72%) between observers? interpretations and the children?s prenatal or perinatal histories, which suggests that the selected children?s behaviors have a direct relationship to particular prenatal or perinatal experiences. From these results, we might make the inferential leap that preverbal children appear to be capable of accessing and reenacting memories from their prenatal or perinatal lives. If true, this has implications for our understanding of the importance of prenatal and perinatal life to the subsequent physical, emotional, and mental development and well-being of the child.
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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.