Behavioral assessment

Dorothy Vittner, Jacqueline M. McGrath

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


Behavioral assessment is intended to identify an infant’s current level of balance and smooth, integrated functioning. It is the intent of the behavioral assessment to describe the degree of competence and organization in the infant’s behavioral repertoire, as well as when and how behaviors reflect disorganization or stressful responses. Behavioral assessment begins with evaluating infant’s ability to control state, move smoothly from one state to another, and maintain alertness. An appropriate behavioral assessment describes infant’s abilities to utilize intervention support and delineates the types of facilitation necessary to ensure smooth functioning. Behavioral assessment provides an opportunity to consider the infant as a whole individual-an approach that enhances infant competencies and support of the infant-parent relationship. This chapter provides examples of behavioral assessment of well newborn, well preterm infant, and sick preterm infant with the descriptions of the instruments that can be used for behavioral assessment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPhysical Assessment of the Newborn, Sixth Edition
Subtitle of host publicationA Comprehensive Approach to the Art of Physical Examination
PublisherSpringer Publishing Company
Number of pages26
ISBN (Electronic)9780826174512
ISBN (Print)9780826174437
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Alertness
  • Infant behavioral assessment
  • Infant competencies
  • Infant-parent relationship
  • Newborn
  • Preterm infant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing
  • General Medicine


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