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Behavioral and social development of children born extremely premature: 5-year follow-up


B. Hoff, Stampevej 31, 2970 Hørsholm, Denmark. Tel: +45 45 86 12 39; e-mail:


A cohort of extremely prematurely born children and matched term controls was assessed at 5 years of age. The parents completed a questionnaire on their behavioral and social development. The purpose was to illuminate whether the children's general intellectual ability and parental sensitivity were associated with behavioral and social development. The index children exhibited more hyperactive behavior and had poorer social skills than the controls. Lower Full Scale IQ (FSIQ) was associated with outward reacting and hyperactive behavior and poorer social skills. Sensitive parenting was associated with less outward reacting and less hyperactive behavior. When controlling for differences in FSIQ and parental sensitivity, the index children persisted to have an increased risk of exhibiting hyperactive behavior but not poorer social skills. The index children with normal intellectual development, however, did not exhibit more behavioral problems or poorer social skills than the control children did.