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Early Hum Dev. 2001 Dec;65(2):107-21.

Behavior in term, small for gestational age preschoolers.

Author information

  • 1Department of Pediatrics, University of Bergen, Barneklinikken, 5021 Haukeland Sykehus, Bergen, Norway.



To evaluate whether being born small for gestational age (SGA) was associated with an increased frequency of preschool behavioral problems.


Follow-up study at 5 years of age.


A population based cohort of 318 term infants who were SGA, defined as having a birthweight less than the 15th percentile for gestational age, and without major handicap such as cerebral palsy or mental retardation, and a random control sample of 307 appropriate for gestational age (AGA) infants.


The Personality Inventory for Children and the Yale Children's Inventory (completed by the mothers), and child behavior during psychometric testing.


Behavior problems was not more common among the SGA children. The results were not confounded by a wide range of parental demographic and child rearing factors, including maternal non-verbal problem solving abilities, child rearing style, and maternal psychological distress. However, the parental factors explained 13% of the variance in a summary score of child behavior compared to 1% explained by SGA vs. AGA status. The SGA children were not more sensitive to the negative impacts of parental risk factors than AGA controls. The study does not address the outcome of severely growth-retarded SGA infants.


Being born moderately SGA is not a significant risk factor for preschool behavior problems.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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