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Acta Paediatr. 2011 Oct;100(10):1331-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.2011.02306.x. Epub 2011 May 11.

Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale as a predictor of cognitive development and IQ in full-term infants: a 6-year longitudinal study.

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Research Center for Behavioral Assessment (CRAMC), Department of Psychology, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Tarragona, Spain.



To evaluate the predictive capacity of neonatal behaviour on infant mental and psychomotor development at 4 and 12 months, and infant intelligence at 6 years.


Eighty full-term newborns were followed from 3 days until 6 years. Neonatal behaviour was assessed by the Neonatal Behavior Assessment Scale (NBAS) at 3 days postpartum, infant mental and psychomotor development was assessed by the Bayley Scales for Infant Development at 4 and 12 months, and child intelligence was assessed by the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence at 6 years.


Neonatal general irritability was the predictor of mental development at 12 months. Self-regulation behaviours were predictors of psychomotor development at 4 and 12 months and verbal and total intelligence quotient at 6 years. Neonatal orientation was a predictor of performance Wechsler subtests related to visomotor abilities and attention.


Neonatal self-regulation behaviours were the best predictors of infant development and intelligence. We suggest that the NBAS could be a useful tool to observe behaviours related to later development in healthy infants.

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