Improved Cognitive Development in Preterm Infants with Shared Book Reading

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Purpose:To examine the effect of shared book reading on the cognitive development of children born preterm and to determine what factors influence shared book reading in this population.Design:Secondary analysis using the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Birth Cohort, a large, nationally representative survey of children born in the United States in 2001.Sample:One thousand four hundred singleton preterm infants (22-36 weeks gestation).Main Outcome Variable:Cognitive development measured using the Bayley Mental Scale score from the Bayley Scales of Infant Development Research Edition.Results:Adjusting for neonatal, maternal, and socioeconomic characteristics, reading aloud more than two times a week is associated with higher cognitive development scores in two-year-old children born preterm (p<.001). Race/ethnicity and maternal education affect how often parents read to their children. Shared book reading holds potential as an early developmental intervention for this population.

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