A STUDY of child rearing is being carried out at Western Reserve University Medical School and University Hospitals of Cleveland by a staff consisting primarily of four pediatricians, three psychiatrists, and four child therapists. In addition there is a psychologist and a nurse. One of the aims is to clarify some of the psychologic factors in the everyday problems of parents, about which they commonly turn to pediatricians for help.
In order that the psychiatrists and child therapists may see problems as they are usually presented to a pediatrician, each of them (as well as each of the four pediatricians) has functioned as a counselor to one family. One of the pediatricians performs physical examinations and acts as physical consultant for the seven non-pediatric counselors.
Each mother had up to an hour of consultation a week with her counselor from the last trimester of pregnancy until her baby was at least 6 months old. It is planned that bimonthly visits will be made by the mother until the child is at least 3 years of age. After each week's clinical session, the staff has had 2 hours for discussion.
Of the 12 babies delivered in this study, 8 had definite neonatal problems of concern to both the physician and family. This is a high proportion, but not surprising considering the small size of the sample as well as figures available from larger series. Statistics gathered during 12 months in the newborn service at University Hospitals of Cleveland show that out of 4,288 infants, 20% present medical problems.