Pre-term babies now represent 8% of the infants born in the U.S. With improvement in neonatal care, infants who are extremely premature or have very low birthweight have a much greater chance of surviving. A recent psychological bulletin provides information from a meta-analysis of the mental health risks for infants of extremely low birth weight (ELBW). Children of ELBW demonstrated increased rates of inattention and hyperactivity and both internalized and externalized behavioral difficulties, as reported by parents and teachers. The individuals who had ELBW themselves, however, did not report higher levels of inattention, hyperactivity or oppositional behaviors, suggesting that these children lacked insight. Yet as adults, those with ELBW did report higher levels of anxiety, depression and social difficulties.
To learn more, visit: http://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/releases/bul-bul0000091.pdf
Julie T. Steck, Ph.D., HSPP
CRG/Children’s Resource Group