Cognitive adaptations to high-risk infants: the search for mastery, meaning, and protection from future harm.

American journal of mental deficiency

PubMedID: 3159262

Affleck G, Tennen H, Gershman K. Cognitive adaptations to high-risk infants: the search for mastery, meaning, and protection from future harm. Am J Ment Defic. 1985;89(6):653-6.
Cognitive adaptations suggesting orientations to primary or secondary control over stress were explored in a sample of 42 mothers who were interviewed shortly after discharge of their infant from a newborn intensive care unit. Mothers reported how much the infant's current recovery and future developmental status was or is dependent on personal actions and the degree to which they thought they could prevent perinatal complications in future deliveries (primary control). Also, they were asked whether there were gains or advantages from the crises of newborn intensive care and whether they had answered the question: "Why me?" (secondary control). Standard measures of mood state and stress reactions to aversive events were also administered. Results showed that each of the control cognitions was related to one or more measures of adaptational outcome. Findings were discussed in the context of theory and research on cognitive adaptations to threatening occurrences.