Handbook of Psychology and Health - Vol. 2

Handbook of Psychology and Health - Vol. 2

Handbook of Psychology and Health - Vol. 2

Handbook of Psychology and Health - Vol. 2

Excerpt

Watson (1925) stated that psychological science can shape the life and training of any child. It is unlikely that many psychologists today would make a statement of Watson's degree, that is that all learning and development can be totally controlled, but certainly the psychologist has much to offer in studying the early influences of various conditions on the child and in providing appropriate and timely interventions in the life of the child to foster healthy development. This can be done to affect both the psychological and the physical health of the human. The role of the psychologist in the neonatal pediatric case, in or out of the hospital, is one mechanism for these contributions, and the functions of the psychologist are widely varied in this time. His or her responsibility to the well-being of the child may well extend to the stage of conception or before (Wright,Schaefer, &Solomons, 1979), and certainly extends through various aspects of the pregnancy and into the independent life of the child.

The present chapter attempts to explore some of the issues in research and clinical intervention in prenatal and neonatal pediatric cases. One cannot avoid considering the impact of perinatal variables upon the subsequent growth and development of the infant.

It is the purpose of this chapter to provide the practitioner an introduction to the basic and/or most prevalent issues in these periods of the human infant. As a handbook resource it is hoped that the present chapter will constitute a practical introduction with specific resources for the extremely wide variety of research and technique already published. At appropriate times references to already available resources will be noted in an effort to maintain a moderately com-

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