Maternal Touch and the Developing Infant

Ruth Feldman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter presents research conducted at our lab for over a decade on two important areas of maternal touch: its role as a central component in the repertoire of maternal behavior and the impact of an intervention called "Kangaroo Care (KC)" or skin-to-skin contact. In the first section, studies that address the expression of early touch and contact by human mothers, the biological substrates of touch in parenting behavior, and the contribution of early touch and contact to infant development across childhood and into adolescence will be discussed. In the second section, results from a longitudinal follow-up of premature infants who received the KC intervention will be presented, including the impact of KC on the preterm infant's self-regulatory competencies, neuromaturation, and physiological regulation, as well as on maternal outcomes and the parent-child relationship
Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationThe Handbook of Touch
Subtitle of host publicationNeuroscience, Behavioral, and Health Perspectives
EditorsMatthew J Hertenstein, Sandra J Weiss
PublisherSpringer Publishing Company
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-8261-2192-9
ISBN (Print)978-0-8261-2191-2
StatePublished - 2011


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