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BioMed Research International
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 9152627, 10 pages
Research Article

A Psychological Perspective on Preterm Children: The Influence of Contextual Factors on Quality of Family Interactions

1Childhood Adolescence Family Unit, ULSS6 Veneto, Padua, Italy
2Department of Women’s and Children’s Health, Padua University, Padua, Italy
3Department of Developmental and Social Psychology, Padua University, Padua, Italy

Correspondence should be addressed to Alessandra Simonelli

Received 16 February 2017; Revised 14 August 2017; Accepted 21 August 2017; Published 12 October 2017

Academic Editor: Vassilios Fanos

Copyright © 2017 Michela Gatta et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Preterm birth has a critical influence on interactive, communicative, and expressive child behaviour, particularly during the first years of life. Few studies have stressed the assessment of mother-father-child interaction in families with preterm children, generating contradictory results. The present study wished to develop these fields: (i) comparing the quality of family interactions between families with preterm children and families with children born at full term; (ii) observing the development of family interactions after six months in the families with children born preterm; (iii) assessing family and contextual factors, as parental stress and social support, in parents of preterm children in order to observe their influence on the quality of family interactions. 78 families are recruited: 39 families with preterm children ( = 19,8 months, SD = 11,05) and 39 families with full-term children ( = 19,66 months; SD = 13,10). Results show that families with preterm children display a low quality of mother-father-child interactions. After six months, family interactions result is generally stable, except for some LTP-scales reflecting a hard adjustment of parenting style to the evolution of the child. In families with preterm children, the parenting stress seemed to be correlated with the quality of mother-father-child interactions.