Back to Annual Meeting Page
American Public Health Association
133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition
December 10-14, 2005
Philadelphia, PA
APHA 2005
4042.0: Tuesday, December 13, 2005 - 8:30 AM

Abstract #101573

Maternal postnatal psychological distress predicts behavior problems in preterm low birth weight children through to age 18

Ron Gray, MPH1, Alka Indurkhya, PhD2, Marie C. McCormick, ScD2, and Stephen Buka, ScD2. (1) National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit, University of Oxford, Old Road Campus, Headington, Oxford, OX3 7LF, United Kingdom, +44 (0) 1865 226608, ron.gray@npeu.ox.ac.uk, (2) Department of Society, Human Development, and Health, Harvard School of Public Health, 677 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA MA 02115-609

BACKGOUND: Clinically significant behavior problems are twice as common in children born preterm compared to their peers but little is known about the continuity of these behavior problems into adult life. AIM: To determine the prevalence, continuity and perinatal predictors of behavior problems at age 18 in a cohort of preterm low birth weight infants. STUDY DESIGN: Prospective cohort study. POPULATION STUDIED: Full data was available on 584 of the 985 children enrolled in the Infant Health and Development Program (IHDP) at eight US sites between October 1984 and August 1985. Behavior problems were assessed at ages 5 and 8 using the Child Behavior Checklist and at 18 using the Behavior Problems Inventory to form 'clinical' and 'normal' groups. Maternal postnatal psychological distress was defined by score on the General Health Questionnaire at 40 weeks gestation. Prevalence and continuity of behavior problems at each age were estimated and alternating logistic regression analysis was used to model the adjusted log odds of being in the 'clinical' group at ages 5, 8 and 18 against several perinatal variables including maternal psychological distress. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: At 18 years 24.7% were in the clinical group. This compared with 19.2% at age 5 and 21.5% at age 8. Clinically significant behavior problems at ages 5 and 8 showed marked continuity into adulthood. Clinically significant behavior problems at ages 5 through to 18 were predicted by gender, maternal psychological distress, use of cigarettes during pregnancy, and having significant behavior problems at ages 5 and 8.

Learning Objectives:

  • At the conclusion of the session, the participant will be able to

    Keywords: Adult and Child Mental Health, Birth Outcomes

    Presenting author's disclosure statement:

    I wish to disclose that I have NO financial interests or other relationship with the manufactures of commercial products, suppliers of commercial services or commercial supporters.

    [ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

    The Role of Families and Providers in Promoting Children's Health and Development

    The 133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition (December 10-14, 2005) of APHA