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Ask the Mental Health Expert Archives 2001-2004

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Infant Development

Q. I am looking for research material about infant development in the first year. Could you recommend any books, journals, or articles that would cover sight, hearing, hand-eye coordination, and overall mental development?

A. An excellent recent reference is the chapter by Shapiro & Hertzig, in The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Clinical Psychiatry, 4th edition, 2003. They build on the pioneering work of Gesell and Amatruda (1947), who described infant development in terms of motor, adaptive, language, and personal-social function.

You may also want to see the article by Thelen on motor development, in Am Psychol 50:79-95, 1995; and the review by Berenbaum (Acta Paediatr Suppl 1999 Dec;88(432):83-7). The latter review provides information about the ways in which hormones and neurotransmitters affect the development and ongoing function of the brain, and an understanding of the ways in which neonatal screening results in improved psychological outcome.

September 2003

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