OBJECTIVE: Extremely preterm newborns are at heightened risk for emotional and behavioral dysregulation later in childhood. Our goal was to systematically evaluate the antenatal and early postnatal antecedents that might mediate the association between extreme preterm birth and emotional and behavioral dysregulation at age 2 years (corrected age).
METHOD: In a multi-site prospective study, the parents of 826 infants born before 28 weeks gestation completed a Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) when the child was 2 years corrected age. We compared the maternal, pregnancy, placenta, delivery, and newborn characteristics, as well as early postnatal characteristics and exposures of those who satisfied criteria for the CBCL-Dysregulation Profile (CBCL-DP) to those of their peers. We then used time-oriented logistic regression models, starting first with antenatal variables that distinguished children with the CBCL-DP profile from their peers, and then added the distinguishing postnatal variables.
RESULTS: Approximately 9% of the children had a CBCL-DP. In the time-oriented logistic regression model with antenatal variables only, low maternal education achievement, passive smoking, and recovery of Mycoplasma from the placenta were associated with increased risk, whereas histologic chorioamnionitis was associated with reduced risk. None of the postnatal variables added statistically significant discriminating information.
CONCLUSION: Very preterm newborns who later manifest the CBCL-DP at age 2 years differ in multiple ways from their preterm peers who do not develop the CBCL-DP, raising the possibility that potentially modifiable antenatal and early postnatal phenomena contribute to the risk of developing emotional and behavioral dysregulation.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/jean_frazier/123/