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Reconsidering the impact of preterm birth on language outcome

Guarini, A. and Sansavini, A. and Fabbri, C. and Alessandroni, R. and Faldella, G. and Karmiloff-Smith, Annette (2009) Reconsidering the impact of preterm birth on language outcome. Early Human Development 85 (10), pp. 639-645. ISSN 0378-3782.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.earlhumdev.2009.08.061

Abstract

Background Since preterm birth is associated with a constellation of pre-, peri- and post-natal risk factors, we hypothesised that prematurity may continue to impact the development of linguistic abilities even up to the end of the preschool years and beyond, giving rise to an atypical developmental trajectory. The study tested this hypothesis at six years of age, investigating whether language is affected by preterm birth and how different linguistic abilities are interrelated. Method Seventy monolingual Italian preterms and 34 age-matched controls were recruited. Linguistic abilities (vocabulary, grammar, and phonological awareness) as well as general cognitive developmental levels were measured. Results No general cognitive delay emerged, but less developed abilities in vocabulary, grammar, and phonological awareness were found in preterms compared to fullterms. Moreover, the relations among the different linguistic competences differed across groups. Conclusions Our study shows that even without brain damage, preterm birth continues to affect linguistic development up to the end of the preschool years, and probably beyond, highlighting a continuity between pre- and peri-natal life and subsequent development, and pointing to an atypical developmental trajectory in this population compared to fullterms (different rates of development, different strategies employed, and differences in the relationships among linguistic abilities).

Item Type: Article
Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Preterm birth, vocabulary, grammar, phonological awareness, preschool age
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Science > Psychological Sciences
Depositing User: Administrator
Date Deposited: 21 Dec 2010 14:17
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2013 12:19
URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/2462

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