Carmen Walter, Salzburg. Mag.a phil., Diploma in Education from the University of Vienna (Specialisation: Psychoanalysis and Education, Special Needs & Inclusive Education); Bachelor's Degree in Graphic Design (BA Hons) from Staffordshire University, UK; Kindergarten teacher with additional training in Early Childhood Education (BAKIP Amstetten); Doctoral studies in "Human Biology" at the LMU Munich: PhD Thesis on the Long-term Attachment Development of Infants Born Very Preterm From Their Birth Until the Age of Majority; 2014-2018: Research Assistant at the Department of Pediatric Psychosomatics and Psychotherapy (Dr. von Haunerschen Children's Hospital) at the LMU Munich; 2019: Research Assistant at the Institute for Early Life Care, PMU Salzburg.
Attachment, preterm birth and their long-term impact on psychological development in late adolescence
The lecture addresses the long-term development of attachment and psychosocial outcome of formerly very small premature babies (<1500g), beginning with their birth through early life care in the incubator until their late adolescence.
Results from the doctoral thesis of Walter C, about a unique long-term investigation, conducted by Walter C, Brisch KH and colleagues, provide for the first time insight into stability and change of attachment representations assessed in early childhood as well as the long-term influence of early life stress. Further, protection and risk factors – which arise from the premature infant himself and his environment (e.g. primary attachment figure) – associated with his attachment, relationships and mental health in late adolescence will be discussed.
These factors result in clinical implications for the preventive and intervening work of all those professions that are involved in the care, support and therapy of neonates, infants, (young) children and adolescents of preterm as well as term born babies and their families.