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Pediatrics. 1992 Jun;89(6 Pt 2):1209-15.

Enhancing the cognitive outcomes of low birth weight, premature infants: for whom is the intervention most effective?

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  • 1Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027.


The Infant Health and Development Program is a national collaborative study to test the efficacy of combining early child development and family support services with pediatric follow-up to reduce the incidence of health and developmental problems among low birth weight, preterm infants in eight medical school sites. Its efficacy in enhancing intellectual outcomes at age 3 in more and less environmentally vulnerable, low birth weight, preterm children, as defined by maternal education (high school completion or less vs some college) and race (black vs white/other), is explored. Children whose mothers had a high school education or less benefited from the intervention. This was true for both the black and white samples. Children whose mothers had attended college did not exhibit significant enhancement in IQ scores at 3 years. Birth weight affected the response to treatment for one of the four subgroups: Among white mothers with some college, the lighter (less than 2000 g) low birth weight, preterm children were less influenced by the intervention than were the corresponding heavier children. Implications for targeting certain subgroups of low birth weight, preterm children for services are considered.

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