Motorically impaired infants: Impact of a massage procedure on caregiver-infant interactions

Robin L Hansen, Gordon Ulrey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The capacity of both the infant and the caregiver to elicit and respond to behaviors in mutually pleasurable ways is vital for the development of attachment behavior and early social development. The objective of this study was to observe interactions between neuromotor-handicapped infants and their caregivers to determine if specialized handling procedures could be utilized by caregivers to enhance appropriate reciprocal attachment-separation behaviors. An attachment-separation behavior observation scale (A-S) was used to measure infant behaviors and contingent caregiver responses relative to attachment behaviors. A massage technique was taught to the caregivers of one-half of a matched group of neuromotor-delayed infants enrolled in an infant stimulation program. Data analysis indicates that while both groups progressed in appropriate contingent attachment-separation behaviors, only the experimental group showed significant change in the caregiver-infant discrepancy score, suggesting that the handling procedures may have facilitated the development of more compatible and positive interactions between caregivers and their infants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-68
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the Multihandicapped Person
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1988


  • attachment
  • caregiver-infant interactions
  • neuromotor handicapped

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Professions(all)
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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