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Changes in emotional problems, hyperactivity and conduct problems in moderate to late preterm children and adolescents born between 1958 and 2002 in the United Kingdom

Bilgin, Ayten, Wolke, Dieter, Baumann, Nicole, Trower, Hayley, Brylka, Asteria, Räikkönen, Katri, Heinonen, Kati, Kajantie, Eero, Schnitzlein, Daniel, Lemola, Sakari and others. (2021) Changes in emotional problems, hyperactivity and conduct problems in moderate to late preterm children and adolescents born between 1958 and 2002 in the United Kingdom. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry Advances, 1 (2). Article Number e12018. E-ISSN 2692-9384. (doi:10.1111/jcv2.12018) (KAR id:89036)

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Abstract

Background

Preterm birth is a risk factor for the development of emotional and behavioural problems in childhood and adolescence. Given the substantial improvements in neonatal care across decades, it has been expected that the difference in emotional problems, hyperactivity, and conduct problems between moderate to late preterm (MLPT) and full term (FT) children and adolescents have declined in recent years.

Methods

Data from four UK population-based studies were used: The National Child Development Study (NCDS; 1958), the British Cohort Study (BCS70; 1970), the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC, 1991–1992) and the Millennium Cohort Study (MCS; 2000–2002). Emotional problems, hyperactivity and conduct problems were assessed with mother-reports in early childhood (5–7 years), late childhood (10–11 years) and adolescence (14–16 years). Furthermore, emotional problems were self-reported in adolescence in BCS70, ALSPAC and MCS.

Results

In the most recent cohort, the MLPT group had higher mother-reported emotional problems than those born FT in late childhood and adolescence, whereas there were no differences in self-reported emotional problems in adolescence. Regarding mother-reported hyperactivity symptoms, the MLPT group had higher scores than the FT group in the two most recent cohorts in late childhood and in the most recent cohort in adolescence. Regarding mother-reported conduct problems, MLPT children had significantly higher scores than the FT children in the oldest and in the most recent cohort in late childhood. On the other hand, in adolescence, MLPT children had significantly lower scores in conduct problems in comparison to FT children in the cohort born in 1991–1992.

Conclusions

Mother-reported emotional problems and hyperactivity symptoms of those born MLPT have increased from the birth years 1958 to 2000–2002 during late childhood and adolescence, whereas self-reported emotional problems were similar in MLPT and FT groups during adolescence from 1970 to 2000–2002. Findings are less consistent regarding conduct problems. The current findings highlight the importance of raising the awareness of teachers about the association between MLPT birth and behavioural and emotional problems in late childhood and adolescence to prevent the long-term negative outcomes associated with the sequalae of MLPT birth.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1111/jcv2.12018
Uncontrolled keywords: preterm birth; mental health problems; emotional problems; ALSPAC; MCS; NCDS; BCS70
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Ayten Bilgin
Date Deposited: 06 Jul 2021 07:19 UTC
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2022 22:09 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/89036 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Bilgin, Ayten: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9502-5814
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