Development of Preschool and Academic Skills in Children Born Very Preterm

CSH Aarnoudse-Moens, J Oosterlaan, Hugo Duivenvoorden, Johan Goudoever, Nynke Kuperus

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63 Citations (Scopus)


Objective To examine performance in preschool and academic skills in very preterm (gestational age <= 30 weeks) and term-born comparison children aged 4 to 12 years. Study design Very preterm children (n = 200; mean age, 8.2 +/- 2.5 years) born between 1996 and 2004 were compared with 230 term-born children (mean age, 8.3 +/- 2.3). The Dutch National Pupil Monitoring System was used to measure preschool numerical reasoning and early linguistics, and primary school simple and complex word reading, reading comprehension, spelling, and mathematics/arithmetic. With univariate analyses of variance, we assessed the effects of preterm birth on performance across grades and on grade retention. Results In preschool, very preterm children performed comparably with term-born children in early linguistics, but perform more poorly (0.7 standard deviation [SD]) in numerical reasoning skills. In primary school, very preterm children scored 0.3 SD lower in complex word reading and 0.6 SD lower in mathematics/arithmetic, but performed comparably with peers in reading comprehension and spelling. They had a higher grade repeat rate (25.5%), although grade repeat did not improve their academic skills. Conclusions Very preterm children do well in early linguistics, reading comprehension, and spelling, but have clinically significant deficits in numerical reasoning skills and mathematics/arithmetic, which persist with time. (J Pediatr 2011; 158: 15-20).
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)15-20
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Pediatrics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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