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Temperament traits in 4-year-old children born prematurely – may they suggest a threat for mental functioning?

Psychiatr Pol. 2018 Apr 30;52(2):371-386

Authors: Klimek M, Nitecka M, Dutkowska G, Gilarska M, Kwinta P

Abstract
OBJECTIVES: The aim of the study was to assess emotional functioning and identification of temperamental traits in 4-year-old children born prematurely with birth weight =< 1500 grams. The second aim was evaluation of autism spectrum disorders frequency in this group of children.
METHODS: Eighty-six 4-year-old children born prematurely (gestational age =< 32 weeks, birth weight =< 1500 grams) were evaluated. All children underwent physical examination (with the assessment of motor function, vision and hearing), anthropometric measurements and psychomotor tests: Leiter International Performance Scale P-93, Children Vocabulary Test (TSD), temperament questionnaire (EAS-C), and CAST questionnaire. Parents were asked to fill in questionnaires assessing socio-economic conditions of the family and children attendance in kindergarten or early development support.
RESULTS: In the EAS-C questionnaire hyperactivity and reduced emotionality were significantly more common comparing to population. Children with lower gestational age and lower birth weight were characterized with low emotionality score. Children with the CAST score ? 12 points were significantly smaller at birth, more often suffered from retinopathy of prematurity and had poorer results in neurodevelopmental tests – Leiter scale, Children Vocabulary Test.
CONCLUSIONS: Children born prematurely are at greater risk of the occurrence of hyperactivity and autism spectrum symptoms. Detection of emotional disorders in children born prematurely is essential to implement the therapeutic support as early as possible.

PMID: 29975373 [PubMed – in process]

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