The effect of an intervention program on visual attention of normal and at-risk infants from birth to two months of age
Tuck, Kathryn Anne
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The study of at-risk infants and the probability of their becoming developmentally delayed has become one of the foremost concerns in the field of psychological research. Studies have recently focused on the value of providing early stimulation and early intervention to newborn infants in an attempt to enhance and promote normal development. The purpose of the investigation was to compare two methods of lengthening visual attention of normal and at-risk infants between the ages of 40 - 48 weeks gestation age. Ninety infants participated in the study, 45 normal and 45 at-risk. The infants were randomly assigned to one of three groups, two experimental and one control group. All infants were pre-tested and posttested with face and contour apparatus. The two treatment groups were exposed to either face or contour mobiles for a seven-day intervention period. The control group was exposed to no mobile for the seven-day intervention period. Post-testing occurred on the eighth day following intervention. Length of visual attention was measured with regard to each null hypothesis. All hypotheses were rejected For the sample studied, significant differences were found related to type of infant involved, type of treatment used, and in the interaction of type of infant and type of treatment. All infants, whether normal or at-risk, receiving visual intervention between 40 - 48 weeks gestational age, increased their visual attention span significantly and preferred a face stimulus rather than a complex contour stimulus. Results of this study indicate that increasing visual attention of newborn infants, both normal and atrisk, may be a primary method of promoting normal development. The interplay of intervention and vision needs to be further researched in the newly developing child.