Neonatal precursors of infant behavior

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Tested 92 clinically normal infants (48 male, 44 female) at 2 and 90 days of age. At 2 days, they were tested in the hospitals in which they were born. Five hours of autonomic recordings during undisturbed periods and 1 hr of behavioral testing yielded measures that when factor analyzed produced 3 stable dimensions: Reactivity-Irritability, Maturity, and Reflexive and Discriminative Sucking. These dimensions were related to observational data obtained from the infants at 90 days of age. At 90 days, 2 home visits totaling 12 hrs yielded behavioral observations and ratings that when factor analyzed yielded 3 dimensions for males (Tonic-Active, Social, and Clarity) and 4 for females (Active-Social, Tonic, Positive Vocalizations, and Clarity). Correlations between the newborn factors and those obtained at 90 days revealed 1 summarizing relation for males: Newborn Maturity was positively correlated with Tonic-Active behavior at 90 days. No relations were found for females. Results reflect the greater endogenous stability for males and support hypotheses that females may be more receptive to environmental influence during early infancy. (18 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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