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Early Hum Dev. 2013 Dec;89(12):1055-61. doi: 10.1016/j.earlhumdev.2013.08.009. Epub 2013 Aug 29.

Early working memory as a racially and ethnically neutral measure of outcome in extremely preterm children at 18-22 months.

Collaborators (141)

Caplan MS, Laptook AR, Oh W, Hensman AM, Stephens BE, Alksninis B, Andrews D, Angela K, Barnett S, Cashore B, Caskey M, Francis K, Gingras D, Gargus RA, Johnson K, Lainwala S, Leach TM, Leonard MR, Lillie S, Mehta K, Moore JR, Noel L, Ventura S, Walden RV, Watson VE, Walsh MC, Fanaroff AA, Newman NS, Siner BS, Zadell A, DiFiore J, Bhola M, Friedman HG, Yalcinkaya G, Goldberg RN, Cotten C, Ashley P, Auten KJ, Fisher KA, Foy KA, Freedman SF, Grimes S, Gustafson KE, Lohmeyer MB, Malcolm WF, Wallace DK, Stoll BJ, Buchter S, Piazza AJ, Carlton DP, Black L, Blackwelder A, Carter S, Dinkins E, Fritz S, Hale EC, Hutchinson AK, LaRossa MM, Smikle GV, Archer SW, Poindexter BB, Lemons JA, Wilson LD, Hamer F, Cook AB, Herron DE, Lytle C, Minnich HM, Berberich MA, Blaisdell CJ, Gail DB, Kiley JP, Poole W, Gantz MG, Newman JE, Auman JO, Huitema CP, Pickett J 2nd, Wallace D, Zaterka-Baxter KM, Van Meurs KP, Stevenson DK, Ball M, Bentley B, DeAnda ME, DeBattista AM, Kohn JG, Pyle RP, John NH, Weiss HE, Frantz ID 3rd, Fiascone JM, Furey A, MacKinnon BL, Nylen E, Brussa A, Sibley C, Carlo WA, Ambalavanan N, Collins MV, Cosby SS, Phillips VA, Bailey KJ, Biasini FJ, Hopkins M, Johnston KC, Krzywanski S, Nelson KG, Patterson CS, Rector RV, Rodriguez L, Soong A, Whitley S, York S, Finer NN, Rasmussen MR, Wozniak PR, Arnell K, Barbieri-Welge R, Ben-Tall A, Bridge R, Demetrio C, Fuller MG, Ito E, Lukasik M, Rich W, Pontillo D, Posin D, Runyan C, Wilkes J, Zlotnik P, Bell EF, Widness JA, Klein JM, Colaizy TT, Johnson KJ, Eastman DL, Ohls RK, Rohr J, Lacy CB, Montman R.

Author information

University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center, Albuquerque, NM, USA. Electronic address:

Erratum in

  • Early Hum Dev. 2014 Jun;90(6):319.



Difficulties with executive function have been found in preterm children, resulting in difficulties with learning and school performance.


This study evaluated the relationship of early working memory as measured by object permanence items to the cognitive and language scores on the Bayley Scales-III in a cohort of children born extremely preterm.


Logistic regression models were conducted to compare object permanence scores derived from the Bayley Scales-III by race/ethnicity and maternal education, controlling for medical covariates.


Extremely preterm toddlers (526), who were part of a Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Neonatal Research Network's multi-center study, were evaluated at 18-22 months corrected age.


Object permanence scores derived from the Bayley Developmental Scales were compared by race/ethnicity and maternal education, controlling for medical covariates.


There were no significant differences in object permanence mastery and scores among the treatment groups after controlling for medical and social variables, including maternal education and race/ethnicity. Males and children with intraventricular hemorrhage, retinopathy of prematurity, and bronchopulmonary dysplasia were less likely to demonstrate object permanence mastery and had lower object permanence scores. Children who attained object permanence mastery had significantly higher Bayley Scales-III cognitive and language scores after controlling for medical and socio-economic factors.


Our measure of object permanence is free of influence from race, ethnic and socio-economic factors. Adding this simple task to current clinical practice could help detect early executive function difficulties in young children.


Development; Prematurity; Working memory

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