Intrauterine growth rates of Malay, Chinese, and Indian infants were compared. After 34 weeks’ gestation, neonates of mothers with multiple children weighed more than neonates of first-time mothers; Indian neonates were significantly lighter than the Chinese and Malay neonates; and males were heavier than females. Above 35 and 36 weeks’ gestation, head circumference and body length, respectively, were significantly influenced by ethnic origin, sex, and/or first-time motherhood.
Mothers in all 4 countries speak to their five- or 13-month old infants in all ways studied, but the emphasis of the speech differed, which may be due to cultural differences. Mothers of the older babies spoke more than mothers of the younger babies.
Home activities and interactions of Israeli and U.S. mothers (total n=55) and their five-month-old infants were observed for infant visual and tactual exploration and vocalization, and maternal stimulation and speech. Israeli and U.S. mothers may follow culture-specific paths in striving to meet infants’ needs and in achieving socialization goals.