Employing the Brazelton scale to influence mothering: An experimental comparison of three strategies

John Worobey, Jay Belsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Tested 3 methods of relaying information from the Brazelton Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale (BNBAS) to new mothers to examine their effectiveness in influencing mother-infant interaction. 16 control mothers (mean age 28.12 yrs) received a verbal description of their newborns' performance on the BNBAS. 16 contrast mothers (mean age 27.12 yrs) watched the examiner administer the BNBAS to their infants. 16 experimental mothers (mean age 26.68 yrs) were guided through an interaction with their newborns in which they administered the BNBAS items. One month later, each mother-infant dyad was observed for an hour at home preceding, during, and following a bathing session. Results reveal that experimental mothers engaged in significantly more embellished involvement and contingent interaction with their babies than did controls, with contrast mothers falling between these 2 groups but not differing significantly from either. It is concluded that specifically targeted aspects of mothering can be influenced in the newborn period through procedures that do not involve immediate postpartum skin-to-skin contact. Such procedures are effective with nonrisk populations. (21 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)736-743
Number of pages8
JournalDevelopmental psychology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1982
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Demography
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


  • reception of verbal description vs viewing vs active engagement in administration of Brazelton Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale, mother-infant interaction, mothers &
  • their newborns


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