A Longitudinal Investigation of the Development of Fullterm, Preterm and 'At-Risk' Infants from Birth to Four Years using a Parent Report Measure
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Children born preterm, with low birth weight, or via a complicated birth, are more likely to display developmental delays than their fullterm counterparts. While research has consistently reported delays in the development of preterm and 'at-risk' infants, the nature of these delays has not been clearly documented. In this study,the parent-completed Ages and Stages Questionnaire (Squires,Potter&Bricker,1995) was used to examine the development of fullterm, low risk preterm, and 'at-risk' infants from 4 to 48 months of age. Children were assessed on five developmental dimensions(communication, gross motor, fine motor, problem-solving, and personal-social) at 11 points within the 48-month period. Results show significant differences between preterm and 'at-risk' groups,and the fullterm group on all dimensions,however these differences were not consistent across age. We also investigated gender differences within and between the groups across the five dimensions. This research highlights specific areas of developmental delay in preterm and 'at-risk' infants that may require early intervention. The research also demonstrates the suitability of using parental reports for monitoring early development.
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