Sudden infant death syndrome. A framework for preventive mental health

E. McElroy, B. Ruginis, S. J.M. Shaefer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This case underscores the relationship between the infant's behavior and its effect on the mother. This incidence reflects the levels of anxiety described by other parents who have infants experiencing prolonged apnea and who utilize home monitoring. A heightened level of anxiety is often reported, followed by a reduced but chronic form of tension that lasts until the infant is removed from the monitor. The declaration made by the mother that she doesn't feel that 'Tom really belongs to me' suggests that the attachment process of mother to infant needs to be assessed frequently to determine its direction. Psychosocial intervention strategies aimed at preventing adverse developmental outcomes can then be considered. The two approaches described in this paper offer directions for future preventive efforts. Research is needed in both instances.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)391-403
Number of pages13
JournalNursing Clinics of North America
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 1 1979

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)

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