Academic journal article Pre- and Peri-natal Psychology Journal

Letters to the Editor

Academic journal article Pre- and Peri-natal Psychology Journal

Letters to the Editor

Article excerpt

Dear Dr. Verny:

PPPANA is to be, in general, commended for bringing into focus the psychological aspects of pregnancy, birth and the perinatal period. It is an exciting time to be a member of this organization, and I look forward to participating in the 1989 Congress. However, I am writing today to express disappointment regarding a particular article in the Summer 1989 journal.

The article, by Rossi, et al, is Maternal stress and fetal motor behavior: a preliminary report. I find your publication of the article in its present state to represent an appalling lack of editorial judgment. The findings, which include only one significant difference in fetal movement, that being in duration of movement, are a weak framework indeed on which to base the statements of the Results and Discussion section. I am particularly concerned about the extensive, suggestive commentary on the combined-repetitive movements noted, when neither the differences in duration of these movements nor those in number of movements were statistically significant.

On p. 316, the authors state the following: "previous research has shown fetal responses as a direct result of sudden traumatic environmental changes and/or the emotional state aroused in the mother by the stimuli. . . . Our study confirms that it is the latter which affects fetal motor behavior." The data presented simply are not strong enough to be considered to confirm such a differentiation.

Humility is generally expected from scientists reporting a preliminary study, particularly with such a preponderance of results which fail to reach statistical significance. Usually, further study and attempts to replicate results are suggested. No such humility is found here, and the publication of the article as it stands is, in my opinion, irresponsible on the part of the editorial board.

Yours truly,

Alice LoCicero Crawford, Ph.D.

Preconceptual Care, Incorporated is a new organization being established in the United States which we hope will become a sister organization to PPPANA. While PPPANA deals with the psychological aspects of pregnancy, Preconceptual Care, Inc. will work on the physical aspects of peri-conceptual and pregnancy periods, providing instructions and education in healthful lifestyles, improved nutrition, and the avoidance of toxic environmental hazards.

Most of those reading this letter will be aware of the ominous trends towards deteriorating health in our society, primarily seen in children, with rapidly increasing incidence of allergic, immunologic, behavioral disorders, and learning disabilities. …

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