Socio-emotional and cognitive outcomes of children born preterm and low birth weight
Duru, Chinagorom Akwaugo
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The aim of this study was to determine whether there is any significant relationship between preterm birth and birth weight on some behavioral and cognitive outcomes in children between 6 and 10 years old born in the early 2000s. It further investigates if gender moderates the relationship between preterm birth and the outcome variables. A secondary data analysis was done with the help of the “National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH) 2011-2012” dataset. Methodologically, this study utilized a series of logistics regression analysis to examine the proposed hypotheses. Results revealed that preterm birth, but not birth weight, was significantly associated with the odds of diagnosis of depression. In addition, both preterm birth and low birth weight were significantly associated with anxiety. Both birth weight and preterm birth were also associated with the risk of ADHD. However, Autism Spectrum Disorder was not associated with either birth weight or preterm birth. As for the cognitive outcomes, the findings showed that both preterm birth and low birth weight were significantly associated with intellectual disabilities. For language deficit, both preterm birth and birth weight also showed to be significant predictors of language problem. Gender showed to interact with preterm birth to predict only language deficit but not for other outcomes. Preterm birth and low birth weight were associated with various developmental outcomes at the ages of 6-10 years. This study is important, as it will help ensure that special intervention programs be developed, or properly implemented for the at-risk group.