Early Childhood Education Journal

, Volume 39, Issue 2, pp 95–102

Academic Outcomes for Children Born Preterm: A Summary and Call for Research

  • Milena Keller-Margulis
  • Allison Dempsey
  • Ashlie Llorens
Article

Abstract

The developmental outcomes for children born preterm have been examined by many, with results unequivocally indicating that children born preterm tend to have poorer cognitive outcomes and more developmental difficulties. Less attention has been paid to academic outcomes. The purpose of this paper is to review the academic skills assessment of children born preterm, examine the methodologies used to ascertain skill deficits, and identify essential directions for future research. Overwhelmingly the results of studies of academic skills indicate that children born preterm function lower than their full term peers. The methodological flaws with existing studies that impede broad conclusions about specific skill deficits will be discussed. It is critical that future research examine the academic skill deficits contributing to disability status so that effective early intervention strategies may be developed and implemented.

Keywords

Children born preterm Academic skills Academic outcomes Special education 

References

  1. Aarnoudse-Moens, C. S. H., Weisglas-Kuperus, N., van Goudoever, J. B., & Oosterlaan, J. (2009). Meta-analysis of neurobehavioral outcomes in very preterm and/or very low birth weight children. Pediatrics, 124(2), 717–728.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Anderson, P. J., & Doyle, L. W. (2004). Executive functioning in school-aged children who were born very preterm or with extremely low birth weight in the 1990s. Pediatrics, 114(1), 50–57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. *Anderson, P. J., Doyle, L. W., Callanan, C., Carse, E., Casalaz, D., Charlton, M. P., et al. (2003). Neurobehavioral outcomes of school-age children born extremely low birth weight or very preterm in the 1990 s. JAMA: Journal of the American Medical Association, 289(24), 3264–3272. doi:10.1001/jama.289.24.3264.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Arpino, C., Compagnone, E., Montanaro, M. L., Cacciatore, D., De Luca, A., Cerulli, A., et al. (2010). Preterm birth and neurodevelopmental outcome: a review. Child’s Nervous System. doi: 10.1007/s00381-010-1125-y.
  5. Aylward, G. P. (2002a). Cognitive and neuropsychological outcomes: More than IQ scores. Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Research Reviews, 8(4), 234–240. doi:10.1002/mrdd.10043.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Aylward, G. P. (2002b). Methodological issues in outcome studies of at-risk infants. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 27(1), 37–45. doi:10.1093/jpepsy/27.1.37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Aylward, G. P. (2009). Neonatology, prematurity, and developmental issues. In M. C. Roberts & R. G. Steele (Eds.), Handbook of pediatric psychology (4th ed., pp. 241–253). New York, NY: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  8. Baron, I., & Rey-Casserly, C. (2010). Extremely preterm birth outcome: A review of four decades of cognitive research. Neuropsychology Review, 20(4), 430–452. doi:10.1007/s11065-010-9132-z.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Beck, S., Wojdyla, D., Say, L., Betran, A. P., Merialdi, M., Requejo, J. H., et al. (2010). The worldwide incidence of preterm birth: a systematic review of maternal mortality and morbidity. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 88(1), 31–38. doi:10.2471/blt.08.062554.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. *Bowen, J. R., Gibson, F. L., & Hand, P. J. (2002). Educational outcome at 8 years for children who were born extremely prematurely: A controlled study. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, 38(5), 438–444. doi:10.1046/j.1440-1754.2002.00039.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. *Breslau, N., Johnson, E. O., & Lucia, V. C. (2001). Academic achievement of low birthweight children at age 11: The role of cognitive abilities at school entry. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology: An official publication of the International Society for Research in Child and Adolescent Psychopathology, 29(4), 273–279. doi:10.1023/a:1010396027299.Google Scholar
  12. *Chyi, L. J., Lee, H. C., Hintz, S. R., Gould, J. B., & Sutcliffe, T. L. (2008). School outcomes of late preterm infants: Special needs and challenges for infants born at 32–36 weeks gestation. The Journal of Pediatrics, 153(1), 25–31. doi:10.1016/j.jpeds.2008.01.027.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. *Downie, A. L. S., Frisk, V., & Jakobson, L. S. k. (2005). The impact of periventricular brain injury on reading and spelling abilities in the late elementary and adolescent years. Child Neuropsychology, 11(6), 479–495. doi:10.1080/09297040591001085.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Fletcher, J. M., Lyon, G. R., Fuchs, L., & Barnes, M. (2007). Learning disabilities: From identification to intervention. New York, NY: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  15. Frye, R. E., Landry, S. H., Swank, P. R., & Smith, K. E. (2009). Executive dysfunction in poor readers born prematurely at high risk. Developmental Neuropsychology, 34(3), 254–271. doi:10.1080/87565640902805727.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Goyen, T.-A., Lui, K., & Woods, R. (1998). Visual-motor, visual-perceptual, and fine motor outcomes in very-low-birthweight children at 5 years. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, 40(2), 76–81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. *Gross, S. J., Mettelman, B. B., Dye, T. D., & Slagle, T. A. (2001). Impact of family structure and stability on academic outcome in preterm children at 10 years of age. The Journal of Pediatrics, 138(2), 169–175.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. *Grunau, R. E., Whitfield, M. F., & Davis, C. (2002). Pattern of learning disabilities in children with extremely low birth weight and broadly average intelligence. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 156(6), 615–620.Google Scholar
  19. *Hack, M., Taylor, H. G., Drotar, D., Schluchter, M., Cartar, L., Wilson-Costello, D., et al. (2005). Poor predictive validity of the Bayley scales of infant development for cognitive function of extremely low birth weight children at school age. Pediatrics, 116(2), 333–341.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (Public Law 108–446).Google Scholar
  21. Jastak, S., & Wilkinson, G. (1984). Wide range achievement test-revised. Wilmington, DE: Jastak Associates.Google Scholar
  22. Johnson, E. O., & Breslau, N. (2000). Increased risk of learning disabilities in low birth weight boys at age 11 years. Biological Psychiatry, 47(6), 490–500.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. *Johnson, S., Hennessy, E., Smith, R., Trikic, R., Wolke, D., & Marlow, N. (2009). Academic attainment and special educational needs in extremely preterm children at 11 years of age: the EPICure study. Archives of Disease in Childhood. Education and Practice Edition, 94(4), F283–F289. doi:10.1136/adc.2008.152793.Google Scholar
  24. Johnson, S., Hollis, C., Kochhar, P., Hennessy, E., Wolke, D., & Marlow, N. (2010). Autism spectrum disorders in extremely preterm children. Journal of Pediatrics, 156(4), 525–531. e522.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Johnson, S., Wolke, D., & Marlow, N. (2008). Outcome monitoring in preterm populations: Measures and methods. Zeitschrift für Psychologie/Journal of Psychology, 216(3), 135–146. doi:10.1027/0044-3409.216.3.135.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Kalia, J. L., Visintainer, P., Brumberg, H. L., Pici, M., & Kase, J. (2009). Comparison of enrollment in interventional therapies between late-preterm and very preterm infants at 12 months’ corrected age. Pediatrics, 123(3), 804–809.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. *Kan, E., Roberts, G., Anderson, P. J., & Doyle, L. W. (2008). The association of growth impairment with neurodevelopmental outcome at 8 years of age in very preterm children. Early Human Development, 84(6), 409–416. doi:10.1016/j.earlhumdev.2007.11.002.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Klebanov, P. K., Brooks-Gunn, J., & McCormick, M. C. (1994). School achievement and failure in very low birth weight children. Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, 15(4), 248–256.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. *Litt, J., Taylor, H. G., Klein, N., & Hack, M. (2005). Learning disabilities in children with very low birthweight: Prevalence, neuropsychological correlates, and educational interventions. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 38(2), 130–141. doi:10.1177/00222194050380020301.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Marlow, N., Wolke, D., Bracewell, M. A., & Samara, M. (2005). Neurologic and developmental disability at 6 years of age after extremely preterm birth. The New England Journal of Medicine, 352(1), 9–19. doi:10.1056/NEJMoa041367.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Martin, A., Brooks-Gunn, J., Klebanov, P., Buka, S. L., & McCormick, M. C. (2008). Long-term maternal effects of early childhood intervention: Findings from the Infant Health and Development Program (IHDP). Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 29(2), 101–117. doi:10.1016/j.appdev.2007.12.007.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. *McGrath, M., & Sullivan, M. (2002). Birth weight, neonatal morbidities, and school age outcomes in full-term and preterm infants. Issues in Comprehensive Pediatric Nursing, 25(4), 231–254. doi:10.1080/01460860290042611.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Morse, S. B., Zheng, H., Tang, Y., & Roth, J. (2009). Early school-age outcomes of late preterm infants. Pediatrics, 123(4), e622–e629. doi:10.1542/peds.2008-1405.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Msall, M. E., Buck, G. M., Rogers, B. T., Merke, D., Catanzaro, N. L., & Zorn, W. A. (1991). Risk factors for major neurodevelopmental impairments and need for special education resources in extremely premature infants. The Journal of Pediatrics, 119(4), 606–614.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. *Pritchard, V. E., Clark, C. A. C., Liberty, K., Champion, P. R., Wilson, K., & Woodward, L. J. (2009). Early school-based learning difficulties in children born very preterm. Early Human Development, 85(4), 215–224. doi:10.1016/j.earlhumdev.2008.10.004.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Roberts, G., Howard, K., Spittle, A. J., Brown, N. C., Anderson, P. J., & Doyle, L. W. (2008). Rates of early intervention services in very preterm children with developmental disabilities at age 2 years. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, 44(5), 276–280. doi:10.1111/j.1440-1754.2007.01251.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Roth, J., Figlio, D. N., Chen, Y., Ariet, M., Carter, R. L., Resnick, M. B., et al. (2004). Maternal and infant factors associated with excess kindergarten costs. Pediatrics, 114(3), 720–728.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. *Saigal, S., den Ou, L., Wolke, D., Hoult, L., Paneth, N., Streiner, D. L., et al. (2003). School-age outcomes in children who were extremely low birth weight from four international population-based cohorts. Pediatrics, 112(4), 943–950.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Saigal, S., & Doyle, L. W. (2008). An overview of mortality and sequelae of preterm birth from infancy to adulthood. Lancet, 371(9608), 261–269.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Salt, A., & Redshaw, M. (2006). Neurodevelopmental follow-up after preterm birth: Follow up after 2 years. Early Human Development, 82(3), 185–197. doi:10.1016/j.earlhumdev.2005.12.015.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Sattler, J. M. (2008). Assessment of children: Cognitive foundations (5th ed.). La Mesa, CA: Jerome M. Sattler.Google Scholar
  42. *Short, E. J., Klein, N. K., Lewis, B. A., Fulton, S., Eisengart, S., Kercsmar, C., et al. (2003). Cognitive and academic consequences of bronchopulmonary dysplasia and very low birth weight: 8-year-old outcomes. Pediatrics, 112(5), e359–e366.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. *Sullivan, M. C., & McGrath, M. M. (2003). Perinatal morbidity, mild motor delay, and later school outcomes. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, 45(2), 104–112. doi:10.1017/s0012162203000203.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. *Taylor, H. G., Burant, C. J., Holding, P. A., Klein, N., & Hack, M. (2002). Sources of variability in sequelae of very low birth weight. Child Neuropsychology, 8(3), 163–178. doi:10.1076/chin.8.3.163.13500.Google Scholar
  45. Taylor, H. G., Espy, K. A., & Anderson, P. J. (2009). Mathematics deficiencies in children with very low birth weight or very preterm birth. Developmental Disabilities Research Review, 15(1), 52–59. doi:10.1002/ddrr.51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. *Taylor, H. G., Klein, N., Drotar, D., Schluchter, M., & Hack, M. (2006). Consequences and risks of <1000-g birth weight for neuropsychological skills, achievement, and adaptive functioning. Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, 27(6), 459–469. doi:10.1097/00004703-200612000-00002.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Taylor, H. G., Klein, N., & Hack, M. (2000). School-age consequences of birth weight less than 750 g: A review and update. Developmental Neuropsychology, 17(3), 289–321. doi:10.1207/s15326942dn1703.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. *Taylor, H. G., Klein, N., Minich, N. M., & Hack, M. (2000). Middle-school-age outcomes in children with very low birthweight. Child Development, 71(6), 1495–1511. doi:10.1111/1467-8624.00242.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Tucker, J., & McGuire, W. (2004). ABC of preterm birth: Epidemiology of preterm birth. first in a series of 12 articles. BMJ: British Medical Journal, 329(7467), 675–678.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Tyson, J. E., & Saigal, S. (2005). Outcomes for extremely low-birth-weight infants: Disappointing news. JAMA: Journal of the American Medical Association, 294(3), 371–373.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Wechsler, D. (2001). Wechsler individual achievement test (2nd ed.). San Antonio, TX: Pearson.Google Scholar
  52. *Wocadlo, C., & Rieger, I. (2006). Educational and therapeutic resource dependency at early school-age in children who were born very preterm. Early Human Development, 82(1), 29–37. doi:10.1016/j.earlhumdev.2005.06.005.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Woodcock, R. W., McGrew, K. S., & Mather, M. (2001). Woodcock-Johnson III tests of achievement. Itasca, IL: Riverside Publishing.Google Scholar
  54. Xu, Y., & Filler, J. W. (2005). Linking assessment and intervention for developmental/functional outcomes of premature, low-birth-weight children. Early Childhood Education Journal, 32(6), 383–389. doi:10.1007/s10643-005-0008-4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Milena Keller-Margulis
    • 1
  • Allison Dempsey
    • 1
  • Ashlie Llorens
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Educational PsychologyUniversity of HoustonHoustonUSA

Personalised recommendations