Alberto Stefana Manuela Lavelli

Fathers of preterm infants: a resource to invest on

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Most of the studies on the preterm infants' development focused mainly or exclusively on infants and their mothers. The current review examines the studies which in the last twenty years focused on fathers of preterm infants, to point out main results, methodological issues, and practical implications. After an introduction to the parents' role in the preterm infant's development, the review focuses on the available data about the fathers' emotional states and behaviors, the impact of paternal distress on father-infant interaction and the child development, and protective and risk factors. Lastly, suggestions for future research and intervention programs aimed to support fathers of preterm infants are presented.


  • Preterm Infants
  • Fathers
  • Paternal Distress
  • Father-Infant Interaction
  • Developmental Outcomes


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