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Neonatal and parental predictors of executive function in very preterm children

Authors

  • Cornelieke Sandrine Hanan Aarnoudse-Moens,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Pediatrics, Emma Children's Hospital, Amsterdam Medical Centre, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    • Department of Pediatrics, Division of Neonatology, Sophia Children's Hospital, Erasmus University Medical Centre, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
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  • Nynke Weisglas-Kuperus,

    1. Department of Pediatrics, Division of Neonatology, Sophia Children's Hospital, Erasmus University Medical Centre, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
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  • Hugo Joseph Duivenvoorden,

    1. Erasmus University Medical Centre, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
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  • Jaap Oosterlaan,

    1. Department of Clinical Neuropsychology, VU University Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
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  • Johannes Bernard van Goudoever

    1. Department of Pediatrics, Division of Neonatology, Sophia Children's Hospital, Erasmus University Medical Centre, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
    2. Department of Pediatrics, Emma Children's Hospital, Amsterdam Medical Centre, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    3. Department of Pediatrics, VU University Medical Centre, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
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Correspondence

CSH Aarnoudse-Moens, PhD, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Neonatology, Erasmus University Medical Centre, Sophia Children's Hospital Rotterdam, Dr. Molewaterplein 60, 3000 CB Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Tel: +31 20 5661088 | Fax: +31 20 6091242 | Email: c.aarnoudse-moens@amc.uva.nl

Abstract

Aim

To examine neonatal and parental predictors of executive function in very preterm (gestational age ≤30 weeks) children aged 4.0–12.0 years.

Methods

Two-hundred very preterm (mean age 8.2 ± 2.5 years) children without severe disabilities, born between 1996 and 2004, were assessed with measures of executive function including working memory, verbal fluency, planning and inhibitory control. Neonatal predictors were obtained from clinical records. Parental predictors included parental education, which was derived from questionnaires. Multiple linear regression analyses identified associations between neonatal and parental predictors and executive function in very preterm children.

Results

Better postnatal growth at 6 weeks of corrected age-predicted better spatial span (R² = 0.03, β = 0.17, p = 0.02) and planning (R² = 0.03, β = 0.16, p = 0.04). A higher level of parental education predicted better verbal fluency (R² = 0.02, β = 0.12, p = 0.02). Verbal working memory was not predicted by neonatal risk factors or by parental education (β< 0.09, p> 0.20).

Conclusions

Executive function in very preterm children is associated with early postnatal growth and level of parental education but not with neonatal complications.

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