The very low birthweight infant: Impact on parents during the pre-school years
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This paper presents follow-up data on 75 families who had children born between 1970 and 1971 at birthweights under 1501 g (very low birthweight: VLBW) and a comparison group of 55 families who had children born at the same time but at birthweights over 2500 g. An interview done when the children were 3--5 yr old revealed that parents with a VLBW child gave a less favourable evaluation of their child in 2 of 7 areas considered: development and play. These differences of evaluation were caused by a subgroup of 22 VLBW children with neurological and/or intellectual defects. No evidence came forth to indicate that the experience of having a VLBW child had significant or continuing impact on the family. An absence of serious social problems such as child abuse or the child's failure to thrive were noted.
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