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The purpose of this research was to determine the effects of mothers' singing on their adjustment to their new infants, bonding with their new infants, and use of music in the home environment in the first two weeks after birth. Preterm mothers were also assessed for coping with their child's NICU stay. Participants were 54 full-term infants and mothers and 20 premature infants and 16 mothers who were randomly assigned to experimental or control conditions. Mothers in both experimental groups were recorded singing lullabies and children's songs of their choice for use at home. The recording of the preterm mother's voice was also played 20 minutes per day, 3 to 5 times per week, when the mother was not able to visit the NICU. All full-term and preterm mothers in the experimental and control group completed a survey two weeks after their infants were discharged from the hospital in this post-test only design. Comparisons between full-term and preterm infants revealed that experimental preterm and full-term mothers indicated less adjustment to their baby and lifestyle changes and less bonding compared to control mothers, though this difference was not significant. Preterm and full-term experimental mothers reported the greatest number of medical complications, which might explain their poor adjustment and bonding scores. Preterm experimental mothers valued music significantly more compared to control mothers. Preterm and full-term experimental mothers used music with and sang to their infants more compared to preterm and full-term control mothers, but not to a significant degree. Full-term mothers in both groups indicated that they used music with their infants during quiet time or to calm their fussy infants. Preterm mothers in both groups indicated that they used music with their infants at no specific time. The behaviors preterm and full-term infants evinced the most in response to music was listening and attending. Furthermore, preterm infants who listened to the CD recording of mothers' singing left the hospital an average of two days sooner than those in the control group, though this difference was not significant.
A Dissertation submitted to the College of Music in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Includes bibliographical references.
Jayne M. Standley, Professor Directing Dissertation; Michelle Bourgeois, Outside Committee Member; Clifford K. Madsen, Committee Member; Alice-Ann Darrow, Committee Member.
Florida State University
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