Date of Graduation

Spring 2024


Master of Science in Child Life Studies


Childhood Education and Family Studies

Committee Chair

Lindsey Murphy


The current study examines the implementation of the evidence-based practices of the neonatal integrative developmental care model in the neonatal intensive care unit and how these practices are implemented in reference to initiation method and frequency. In recent years, research examining the effectiveness of individualized, developmentally supportive care to infants in the NICU has demonstrated a variety of positive effects. Although great strides have been made in efforts to provide developmentally supportive care, wide variability and inconsistency remain in the quantity and quality of experience for infants and families in the NICU. Even though a hospital may incorporate developmentally supportive care into their neonatal intensive care unit, the quantity and quality of developmental care may fluctuate over time at a hospital and the level of care may also differ from hospital to hospital. The objective of the current study is to determine what aspects of developmentally supportive care are implemented in hospital NICUs and how consistently these efforts are made. To accomplish this, neonatology specializing medical physicians were invited to complete a questionnaire reporting on the developmental practices implemented in their neonatal intensive care unit. Analyses demonstrated that majority of the 8 subsets of the neonatal integrative developmental care model are practiced as the standard of care with some aspects of each subset of care not as universally integrated. The current study suggests a need for further research on the topic, as well as a need for universal standardization of a structured developmental care program.


neonatal, infant, developmental care, neonatal intensive care, developmental psychologist, neonatology, neonatologist, NIDCAP, NIDCM

Subject Categories

Developmental Psychology


© Taylor Ann Jones

Open Access