The Development of Infants Born at Risk

The Development of Infants Born at Risk

The Development of Infants Born at Risk

The Development of Infants Born at Risk

Excerpt

This book grew out of our frustrations as professionals involved with high risk infants in trying to understand the role of early medical events in the development of the child. This frustration stemmed not from a lack of information on this topic--one need only glance at the number of references cited in this volume to realize that there is no shortage of basic research--but from the lack of consistency in this information. Different research groups have asked different questions, studied different groups of infants, used different methods of study, and obtained different results. Few have attempted to integrate these findings into a useful theoretical structure. Because we were involved in research on the development of premature and sick newborns, we felt compelled to try to integrate the existing medical, psychological, and educational research and place it within a theoretical framework.

We undertook this task for many reasons. First, of course, was our desire to extend our own knowledge and understanding. Second, we hoped to provide for others a complete and accurate compendium of the available information regarding the development of high risk infants. Third, we hoped to make a theoretical statement that would help us to understand how the effects of perinatal medical events are mediated. Finally, our concerns with this unquestionably complex area were more than those related to theoretical and academic interests. Decisions regarding medical, psychological and educational treatments for these infants must be made constantly. We hoped that by improving available knowledge and understanding of the development of high risk infants, better decisions might be made in the future.

In the book, we have reviewed and integrated the existing research on the development of high risk infants. We hoped to provide a multidisciplinary inte-

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