Maternal Skin-to Skin Contact Affects Long-Term Development

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Israeli researchers find that maternal skin-to-skin contact with pre-term infants are related to “dynamic cascades of child physiological regulation and parental provisions in shaping developmental outcome and may inform the construction of more targeted early interventions.”

Abstract →

The study’s conclusion:

“These findings are the first to demonstrate long-term effects of early touch-based intervention on children’s physiologic organization and behavioral control and have salient implications for the care practices of premature infants. Results demonstrate the dynamic cascades of child physiological regulation and parental provisions in shaping developmental outcome and may inform the construction of more targeted early interventions.”

Feldman, R., Rosenthal, Z., Eidelman, A.; Maternal-Preterm Skin-to-Skin Contact Enhances Child Physiologic Organization and Cognitive Control Across the First 10 Years of Life. Biological Psychiatry. Online October 4, 2013.

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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected].

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