Cognition, School Performance, and Behavior in Very Low Birth Weight and Normal Birth Weight Children at 8 Years of Age: A Longitudinal Study

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ABSTRACT. Cognition, school performance, and behavior were assessed at 8 years of age in 132 very low birth weight (VLBW) children free of major sensorineural impairments, and the results were contrasted with a randomly selected control group of normal birth weight (NBW) children. Considering their fragile beginnings, the majority of VLBW children were developing normally and were reading and performing in most academic and social areas as well as the NBW children. However, VLBW children were significantly inferior to NBW children on tests of cognition, including tests of intelligence and visual memory, and on teacher's reports of motor skills and initiative. In addition, proportionally more VLBW children (20.5%) than NBW children (5.9%) were reported by their parents to be not coping at school. J Dev Behav Pediatr 14:363–368, 1993. Index terms: very low birth weight, cognition, behavior.

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