An Investigation of Change in the Infant—Caregiver System over the First Week of Life

  • Louis W. Sander
  • Patricia F. Chappell
  • Patricia A. Synder
Part of the Topics in Developmental Psychobiology book series (TDP)


A combination of the two methods used in the investigation of postnatal adaptation between the infant and its caretaking environment will be described in this chapter: (1) continuous, around-the-clock bassinet monitoring of infant sleep and awake states, obtained while the infant is in the bassinet; and (2) continuous event-recording of an array of both infant and caretaker variables over the complete course of awake periods, including the entire caretaking intervention. In order to make meaningful our use of these methods, some explanation must be given for a study of the postnatal relationship between the infant and the caregiving environment within the concept of adaptation rather that as an investigation of their affiliative behaviors in terms of infant attachment or of parental bonding. The aim is to identify and document biological mechanisms in the interactions that constitute the adaptive process and that underlie these higher order functions.


Sleep Period Facial Movement Temporal Organization Awake State Infant Sleep 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Ashby, W. R. Design for a brain (2nd ed)., Science Paperback, New York: Barnes & Noble, 1970. (Originally published, 1952 ).Google Scholar
  2. Chappell, P. F., Boismier, J. D. & Meier, G. W. The infant’s entering repertoire. Paper presented at the meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Philadelphia, March 1973.Google Scholar
  3. Erikson, E. H. Identify and the life cycle. Psychological Issues, 1959, 1, 50–101.Google Scholar
  4. Halberg, F. Temporal coordination of physiologic functions. Symposia on Quantitative Biology, 1960, 25, 189–310.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Hartman, H. Ego psychology and the problem of adaptation New York: International Universities Press, 1958. (Originally published, 1939.)Google Scholar
  6. Hellbrugge, T., Lange, J. F., Rutenfranz, F & Stehr, K. Circadian periodicity of physiological functions in different stages of infancy and childhood. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1964, 117, 361–373.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Luce, G. G. Biological Rhythms in Psychiatry and Medicine. National Clearinghouse for Mental Health Information, PHS Publication #2088, 1970.Google Scholar
  8. Parmalee, A. H. The ontogeny of sleep patterns and associated periodicities in infants. In Prenatal and postnatal development of the human brain. Basel: S. Karger, 1973.Google Scholar
  9. Piaget, J., The origins of intelligence in children. Translated by M. Cook, New York: International Universities Press, 1952. (Originally published, 1936 ).Google Scholar
  10. Prechtl, H. F. R. Polygraphic studies of the full term newborn II. Computer analysis and recorded data. In M. Bax & R.C. MacKeith (Eds.), Studies in infancy clinic in developmental medicine. SIMP, London: Heineman, 1968.Google Scholar
  11. Sander, L. W. Regulation and organization in the early infant-caretaker system. In R. Robinson (Ed.), Brain and early behavior, London: Academic Press, 1969.Google Scholar
  12. Sander, L. W., Julia, H., Stechler, G. & Burns, P. Continuous 24 hour interactional monitoring in infants reared in two caretaking environments. Psychosomatic Medicine, 1972, 34, 270–282.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Sander, L. W., Stechler, G., Burns, P. & Lee, A. Change in infant and caregiving variables over the first two months of life: Integration of action in early development. In E. Thoman (Ed.), Origins of the infant’s social responsiveness, Hillsdale N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum, 1979.Google Scholar
  14. Spitz, R. A. A genetic field theory of ego formation. New York: International Universities Press, 1959.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Louis W. Sander
    • 1
  • Patricia F. Chappell
    • 2
  • Patricia A. Synder
    • 2
  1. 1.Division of Child PsychiatryUniversity of Colorado Health Sciences CenterDenverUSA
  2. 2.Division of PsychiatryBoston University Medical CenterBostonUSA

Personalised recommendations