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The Effects of a Premature Birth on Behaviour and Cognitive Ability in 4 - 8-Year Old Children: A comparative study over time
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

While previous studies have found that a preterm (PT) birth leads to a higher risk for numerous adverse outcomes, including neurodevelopmental and behavioural problems, few, if any, have investigated the consistency of conceivable behavioural problems over time. The aim of this study was to investigate the existence and the stability of behavioural problems from four to eight years of age in a group of 18 children born PT without diagnosed neurological or developmental morbidity, in comparison to a group of 19 children born full term (FT). Additionally, the effects of gestational age (GA) as well as possible associations between behavioural problems and cognitive ability were investigated. Also, differences related to parents’ level of education were observed. Behavioural problems were evaluated with Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) and cognitive ability was assessed at eight years of age by using Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC-IV). Results showed significant differences between the groups regarding cognitive ability where children born PT had lower scores. Contrary to most previous findings, no evident differences between the two groups regarding amount of behavioural problems were found. Children born PT increased in amount of anxiety problems from four to eight years of age, while children born FT decreased, and a lower GA was related to increasing oppositional defiant problems. Generally, the mothers of children born PT had a lower level of education than those of the FT group. Thus, interpretations with caution due to the relatively small number of participants, these initial findings reveal the need for further prospective follow-up studies on the relationship between birth status and the change of behaviour problems in relation to both inter- and intra-effectors over time.

Abstract [sv]

Tidigare forskning har visat att en för tidig födsel leder till en ökad risk för ett antal ofördelaktiga utfall, inklusive neuroutvecklingsrelaterade svårigheter och beteendeproblem. Få studier, om några, har undersökt stabiliteten av potentiella beteendeproblem över tid. Syftet med denna studie var att undersöka förekomst och stabilitet av beteendeproblematik mellan fyra till åtta års ålder i en grupp bestående av 18 barn födda för tidigt, utan neurologiska eller utvecklingsrelaterade störningar, jämfört med 19 barn födda fullgångna. Vidare undersöktes effekten av gestationsålder samt möjliga associationer mellan beteendeproblem och kognitiv förmåga. Skillnader i föräldrarnas utbildningsnivå mellan grupperna undersöktes också. Beteendeproblem skattades med Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) och kognitiv förmåga bedömdes vid åtta års ålder med hjälp av Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC-IV). Resultaten visade signifikanta skillnader mellan grupperna gällande kognitiv förmåga, där barn födda för tidigt hade lägre poäng. I motsats till vad flera tidigare studier funnit så visade vår studie inga signifikanta skillnader mellan grupperna gällande omfattning av beteendeproblem. Barn födda för tidigt uppvisade en ökning av ångestproblem från fyra till åtta års ålder medan barn fullgånget födda uppvisade en minskning, och lägre gestationsålder korrelerade med ökade trotsproblem. Generellt sett så hade mödrar till barn födda förtidigt en lägre utbildningsnivå än de i den fullgångna gruppen. Med försiktiga tolkningar på grund av det relativt låga antalet deltagare visar resultaten ett behov av vidare uppföljningsstudier av sambanden mellan födelsestatus och förändringen av beteendeproblem i relation till både inter- och intra-påverkande faktorer.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 19 p.
Series
Umeå psychology reports, ISSN 1650-8653
Keyword [en]
Preterm birth, cognitive ability, behaviour, CBCL
National Category
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-114513OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-114513DiVA: diva2:896587
Subject / course
Examensarbete i psykologi
Educational program
Study Programme for University Diploma in Psychology
Supervisors
Projects
The relation between sensory-motor, behaviour functioning and brain development in preterm born children
Available from: 2016-01-22 Created: 2016-01-21 Last updated: 2016-01-22Bibliographically approved

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