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Cognitive performance and behavioral functions in relation to gestational age (GA) at birth
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Paediatrics.
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2015 (English)In: Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, ISSN 0012-1622, E-ISSN 1469-8749, Vol. 57, no Suppl s4, 21- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]


It is well established that a very preterm birth (PT) relates to increased behavioral problems. The aim of this study was to investigate effects and associations between different gestational ages (GA) at birth (term, late-to-extreme) and later functions. This study is part of an ongoing, longitudinal project.

Participants and Methods:

Test outcomes from WISC-IV and Achenbach’s Child-Behavior-Checklist (CBCL) in children tested at 7-8-years (M=7.7) were used to investigate group differences as effect of GA at birth. In total, 64 preterm born (PT), GA range 22-36, (divided into groups of 14 extremely-PT/EPT, 17 very-PT/VPT, and 33 moderately PT/MPT) and 64 term born (TB), were included. Additionally, associations between GA, birth weight (BW), and outcomes from WISC-IV and CBCL were investigated.


Multivariate analyses of variance (MANOVA) revealed significantly (p < .05) poorer WISC outcomes on Verbal Comprehension Index, Perceptual Reasoning Index, and on Full-Scale-IQ for children born EPT/VPT in comparison to MPT and TB born. Parents’ CBCL ratings reveled that EPT children had significantly higher prevalence of Attention problems, Thought problems, Aggressive and Somatic complaints. Including the PT-group only shown significant positive correlations between GA/BW respectively and full scale IQ. Higher GA/BW was related to increasing IQ scores.  Significant negative correlations were seen between GA/BW respectively and TotProblem/CBCL-scale. Additionally, CBCL/DSM-Oriented Scales; Adhd-, Opposite-, and Conduct-Problems correlated significantly negative with GA/BW in the PT-born children.


Our study provides further support for associations between increased risk of cognitive and behavior problems with decreasing GA/BW at birth.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
John Wiley & Sons, 2015. Vol. 57, no Suppl s4, 21- p.
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Psychology; Pediatrics
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-104222DOI: 10.1111/dmcn.12778_46OAI: diva2:818410
Special Issue: Abstracts of the European Academy of Childhood Disability 27th Annual Meeting, 27–30 May 2015, Copenhagen, Denmark
Swedish Research Council, Dnr:2011-179
Available from: 2015-06-08 Created: 2015-06-08 Last updated: 2015-10-08Bibliographically approved

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Rönnqvist, LouiseDomellöf, ErikJohansson, Anna-MariaDomellöf, MagnusFaroogi, Aijaz
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