Research Projects

Exploratory study of feeding behavior outcomes of infants with preterm history in their first year of life

Year Funded:  2009

Tsu-Hsin Howe, PhD, OTR, Assistant Professor, NYU Department of Occupational Therapy

Project Abstract

The goal of this project is to study the feeding outcomes of preterm infants and its relation with parental stress in the first year of life. Increasing numbers of preterm infants are referred for treatment to address their significant and persistent feeding problems. There is very little longitudinal research studying preterm infants who have feeding problems as they mature into toddlers. The findings of this study will provide information for clinicians to identify infants at risk for feeding difficulties, allowing for targeted interventions to ameliorate physiologic (i.e. child's growth and nutrition) and emotional (i.e. disruptive caregiver-child relationship) deficits. Furthermore, understanding the possible relationship among an infant’s biological risks and feeding performance, as well as parental stress will assist clinicians in providing informed support to parents and their infants, thus enhancing the likelihood of positive feeding experience.