Landsem, I.P., Handegård, B.H., Kaarensen, P.I., Tunby, J., Ulvund, S.E., Rønning, J.A. (2019). Stability and Change in Longitudinal Associations between Child Behavior Problems and Maternal Stress in Families with Preterm Born Children, Follow-Up after a RCT-Study.
The Tromsø Intervention Study on Preterms (TISP) randomized 146 preterm-born children either to the Mother-Infant Transaction Program (MITP) or to a preterm control group. Previously, significant reductions of child behavior problems and maternal stress have been reported in the intervention group. This follow-up study examines whether the MITP may have affected the longitudinal adaptation between mothers and their children from two until nine years, expressed as associations between different behavioral problems and parenting stress reported by mothers. Associations between internalizing, attentional, and social problems and different dimensions of parenting stress were analyzed in separate models that included effects of time and group status. The MITP did not influence the development of longitudinal associations as no significant three-way interaction (stress*group*time) was found. Significant stress by group interactions was only found in reports on children's attentional problems when analyzed with parent- or interaction-related stress. Mothers who had participated in the MITP reported weaker stress⁻behavior associations than control mothers. This effect was moderated by two independent variables, namely children's birthweight and years of maternal education for the parent⁻child difficult interaction stress.