University of Leicester
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Early emergence of delayed social competence in infants born late and moderately preterm: A prospective population-based cohort study

journal contribution
posted on 2015-10-19, 08:48 authored by Samantha Jayne Johnson, R. Matthews, E. S. Draper, D. J. Field, B. N. Manktelow, N. Marlow, L. K. Smith, E. M. Boyle
Objective: To assess behavioral outcomes and social competence at 2 years of age in infants born late and moderately preterm (LMPT; 32-36 wk gestation). Method: One thousand one hundred and thirty LMPT infants and 1255 term-born (>=37 wk) controls were recruited at birth to a prospective geographical population-based study. Parents completed the Brief Infant and Toddler Social Emotional Assessment (BITSEA) at 2 years corrected age to assess infants' behavior problems and social competence. Cognitive development was assessed using the Parent Report of Children's Abilities-Revised. Parent questionnaires at 2 years were completed for 638 (57%) LMPT and 765 (62%) term-born infants. Group differences in the prevalence of behavior problems and delayed social competence between LMPT infants and term-born controls were adjusted for age, sex, small-for-gestational-age, socioeconomic status and cognitive impairment. Results: Late and moderately preterm infants were at significantly increased risk of delayed social competence compared with term-born controls (26.4% vs 18.4%; adjusted-relative risk [RR] 1.28; 95% CI, 1.03-1.58), but there was no significant group difference in the prevalence of behavior problems (21.0% vs 17.6%; adjusted-RR 1.13, 0.89-1.42). Non-white ethnicity (RR 1.68, 1.26-2.24), medium (RR 1.60, 1.14-2.24) and high (RR 1.98, 1.41-2.75) socioeconomic risk and recreational drug use during pregnancy (RR 1.70, 1.03-2.82) were significant independent predictors of delayed social competence in LMPT infants. Conclusion: Birth at 32 to 36 weeks of gestation confers a specific risk for delayed social competence at 2 years of age. This may be indicative of an increased risk for psychiatric disorders later in childhood. Copyright (C) 2015 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.



Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, 2015 (In press)

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/Organisation/COLLEGE OF MEDICINE, BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES AND PSYCHOLOGY/School of Medicine/Department of Health Sciences


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Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics


Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins for Society for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics





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