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J Pediatr. 2011 Jan;158(1):51-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2010.06.052. Epub 2010 Aug 13.

Development of preschool and academic skills in children born very preterm.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Division of Neonatology, Erasmus University Medical Centre, Sophia Children's Hospital, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To examine performance in preschool and academic skills in very preterm (gestational age ≤ 30 weeks) and term-born comparison children aged 4 to 12 years.

STUDY DESIGN:

Very preterm children (n = 200; mean age, 8.2 ± 2.5 years) born between 1996 and 2004 were compared with 230 term-born children (mean age, 8.3 ± 2.3). The Dutch National Pupil Monitoring System was used to measure preschool numerical reasoning and early linguistics, and primary school simple and complex word reading, reading comprehension, spelling, and mathematics/arithmetic. With univariate analyses of variance, we assessed the effects of preterm birth on performance across grades and on grade retention.

RESULTS:

In preschool, very preterm children performed comparably with term-born children in early linguistics, but perform more poorly (0.7 standard deviation [SD]) in numerical reasoning skills. In primary school, very preterm children scored 0.3 SD lower in complex word reading and 0.6 SD lower in mathematics/arithmetic, but performed comparably with peers in reading comprehension and spelling. They had a higher grade repeat rate (25.5%), although grade repeat did not improve their academic skills.

CONCLUSIONS:

Very preterm children do well in early linguistics, reading comprehension, and spelling, but have clinically significant deficits in numerical reasoning skills and mathematics/arithmetic, which persist with time.

Copyright © 2011 Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

PMID:
20708749
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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