Are Low Birth Weight Children Prone To Emotional Problems As Adults?
Posted Oct 02 2008 6:15pm
The July 2008 issue of Pediatrics presents a research study examining adult survivors of premature birth. Prior studies have noted significant personality characteristics associated with preterm birth including elevated neuroticism and cautiousness and lower extraversion. A sample of 71 young adults with extremely low weight at birth (501-1000 g) were compared with a control sample of 83 young adults with normal birth weight on a battery of personality measures, All of the participants were matched for handedness, age, and absence of psychiatric impairments. The results indicated that extremely low birth weight adults reported significantly higher shyness, behavioral inhibition, and socialization (i.e. low risk aversion) than the control adults. They also showed lower sociability and emotional well-being than their normal birth weight counterparts which was consistent with previous studies. The researchers discuss the results and suggest that low birth weight children may be prone to psychiatric and emotional problems in adulthood.