Perinatal morbidity, mild motor delay, and later school outcomes
Date of Original Version
Four dimensions of motor competence were evaluated in 4-year-old term and preterm children and were related to academic achievement and use of school services at age 8 years. The objective of the study was to evaluate a graduated 'stair-step' effect between perinatal morbidity, mild motor delay, and later school outcomes in 168 children (88 females, 80 males) stratified into four study groups: 134 healthy term infants ≥ 37 weeks' gestation, birthweight ≥ 2500g; 134 preterm infants ≤37 weeks' gestation divided into healthy preterm (n=41), clinically ill preterrns (n=59), and preterm infants with neurological illness (n=34). Significant differences were found in total, fine and gross motor performance, and visual-motor integration at age 4 years. Scores for the preterm groups decreased with increasing morbidity. At age 4 years, mild motor delay was found in all preterm groups. Children with mild motor delay had lower academic achievement scores (Wide Range Achievement Test-3) and higher rates of school service use at age 8 years. Perinatal morbidity and compromised motor performance are important precursors of educational underachievement.
Publication Title, e.g., Journal
Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology
Sullivan, Mary C., and Margaret M. McGrath. "Perinatal morbidity, mild motor delay, and later school outcomes." Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology 45, 2 (2003): 104-112. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8749.2003.tb00913.x.