Behavioral Reactions of Preterm and Low-Birthweight Infants to a Program of Tactile Stimulation
The behavioral reactions were monitored of a group of premature and low-birthweight infants (mean gestational age at stimulation was 37 weeks) in a special care baby unit to two sessions of the Tac-Tic program of stroking. Arm and leg movements were found to be the most frequent reactions and a striking similarity occurred between maternal and paternal stroking, in the pattern and frequency of infant reactions elicited. No significant differences were found in the type or number of reactions elicited by strokes of different bodily areas (head, trunk or limb). Parental feelings towards the stroking procedure were also examined and they quite clearly enjoyed performing the stroking and felt they would continue to perform the stroking procedure, on their infant, in the future.
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Áine de Róiste, Ph.D., Ian Bushnell, Ph.D., and Joan Burns, M.A.
Dr. Áine de Róiste, who is affiliated with the Department of Social Studies, Athlone Regional Technical College, Athlone, Co. Westmeath, Ireland, is internationally recognized for her research on preterm infants. Ian Bushnell, who has won extensive renown for his research on "neo-natal recognition of mother's face" and Joan Burns are members of the Department of Psychology, the University of Glasgow, U.K. Address correspondence to Dr. À. de Róiste, Department of Social Studies, Athlone Regional Technical College, Dublin Road, Athlone, Co. Westmeath, Ireland.