Characteristics of preschool children who were small for gestational-age infants

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Clinical Psychology

First Committee Member

Debra Bendell - Committee Chair

Second Committee Member

Annette LaGreca - Committee Member


The purpose of this study was to document the degree and nature of the risks associated with intrauterine growth retardation in preterm infants. The developmental and behavioral outcome of preterm small for gestational age (SGA) infants was evaluated in a group of 23 preschoolers who were compared to 30 appropriate for gestational age (AGA) preschoolers. Subjects were recruited from an on-going High Risk Follow-up Program at the University of Miami Mailman Center for Child Development. Conditions known to be associated with central nervous system damage were excluded. The groups did not differ in terms of gestational age, demographic variables and current chronological age. Evaluation focused on the detection of specific cognitive and behavioral disorders. Tests administered included the Stanford-Binet: 4th Edition, the Preschool Behavior Problem Checklist and the Brazy Perinatal Biological Scoring System. Analysis of variance was used to investigate group differences. SGA infants differed from the AGA infants only in terms of birthweight. The two groups of preschoolers did not differ in terms of IQ scores or the number or types of behavior problems reported by mothers. However, both groups obtained IQ scores which were similar to those children who later developed learning problems and behavioral ratings similar to those received by chidren referred for psychological evaluations. Results suggest that SGA and AGA preterm infants appear quite similar in terms of cognitive and behavioral characteristics by the time they reach preschool age. Results also confirm previous findings that children who were preterm infants appear to be risk for both learning and behavioral problems.


Psychology, Developmental

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