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      Early Motor Trajectories Predict Motor but not Cognitive Function in Preterm- and Term-Born Adults without Pre-existing Neurological Conditions


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          Very preterm (VP; <32 weeks gestation) and/or very low birth weight (VLBW; <1500 g) birth has been associated with an increased risk of adverse motor and cognitive outcomes that may persist into adulthood. The aim of this study was to determine whether motor development in the first five years of life is associated with motor and cognitive outcomes in adulthood. A prospective observational study in Germany followed 260 VP/VLBW and 229 term-born individuals from birth into adulthood. Early motor trajectories (i.e., high and low degree of motor difficulties) were determined from neurological examinations from birth to 56 months. Adult motor and cognitive outcomes were determined from information from multiple instruments and IQ tests, respectively. Associations of VP/VLBW birth and early motor difficulties on adult outcomes were assessed using regression analyses. VP/VLBW individuals had an increased risk for early motor difficulties (Relative Risk: 11.77, 95% confidence interval (CI): 4.28, 32.35). Early motor difficulties were associated with poorer motor competence in adulthood ( β = 0.22, p < 0.001), independent of VP/VLBW birth. Adult IQ was predicted by VP/VLBW ( β = −0.12, p < 0.05) and child IQ ( β = 0.51, p < 0.001), while early motor difficulties ceased to be associated with adult IQ once participants with a neurological impairment were excluded ( β = 0.02, p > 0.05). Motor problems in childhood were homotypically associated with poorer motor competence in adulthood. Similarly, early cognitive problems were homotypically associated with adult cognitive outcomes. Thus, both motor and cognitive function should be assessed in routine follow-up during childhood.

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          Most cited references 41

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          The Development of the Concepts of Effort and Ability, Perception of Academic Attainment, and the Understanding That Difficult Tasks Require More Ability

           John Nicholls (1978)
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            Motor development in very preterm and very low-birth-weight children from birth to adolescence: a meta-analysis.

            Infants who are very preterm (born < or = 32 weeks of gestation) and very low birth weight (VLBW) (weighing < or = 1500 g) are at risk for poor developmental outcomes. There is increasing evidence that very preterm birth and VLBW have a considerable effect on motor development, although findings are inconsistent. To investigate the relationship between very preterm birth and VLBW and motor development. The computerized databases EMBASE, PubMed, and Web of Knowledge were used to search for English-language peer-reviewed articles published between January 1992 and August 2009. Studies were included if they reported motor scores of very preterm and VLBW children without congenital anomalies using 1 of 3 established and widely used motor tests: the Bayley Scales of Infant Development II (BSID-II), the Movement Assessment Battery for Children (MABC), and the Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency (BOTMP). Forty-one articles were identified, encompassing 9653 children. In comparison with term-born peers, very preterm and VLBW children obtained significantly lower scores on all 3 motor tests: BSID-II: d = -0.88 (95% confidence interval [CI], -0.96 to -0.80; P < .001), MABC: d = -0.65 (95% CI, -0.70 to -0.60; P < .001), and BOTMP: d = -0.57 (95% CI, -0.68 to -0.46; P < .001). Whereas motor outcomes on the BSID-II show a catch-up effect in the first years of development (r = 0.50, P = .01), the results on the MABC demonstrate a nonsignificantly greater deficit with increasing age during elementary school and early adolescence (r = -0.59, P = .07). Being born preterm or VLBW is associated with significant motor impairment persisting throughout childhood.
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              The long shadow cast by childhood physical and mental problems on adult life.

               A. Goodman,  R. Joyce,  J Smith (2011)
              In this article we assess and compare long-term adult socioeconomic status impacts from having experienced psychological and physical health problems in childhood. To do so, we use unique prospective data from the British National Child Development Study, a continuing panel study of a cohort of 17,634 children born in Great Britain during a single week in March 1958. To date there have been nine waves for this birth cohort to monitor their physical, educational, and social development, during childhood (at birth and 7, 11, and 16 y) and adulthood (age 23, 33, 42, 46, and 50 y). Excellent contemporaneous information exists throughout childhood on physical and psychological health, captured by doctor and nurse-led medical examinations and detailed parental and teacher questionnaires. This information is combined with a wealth of contemporaneous information on adult health and economic experiences collected from cohort members. Information includes their economic circumstances (earnings, labor supply, and other sources of family income), physical and psychological health, and relationship status. Large effects are found due to childhood psychological problems on the ability of affected children to work and earn as adults and on intergenerational and within-generation social mobility. Adult family incomes are reduced by 28% by age 50 y, with sustained impacts on labor supply, marriage stability, and the conscientiousness and agreeableness components of the "Big Five" personality traits. Effects of psychological health disorders during childhood are far more important over a lifetime than physical health problems.

                Author and article information

                Int J Environ Res Public Health
                Int J Environ Res Public Health
                International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
                07 May 2020
                May 2020
                : 17
                : 9
                [1 ]Department of Psychology, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, UK; N.Baumann.1@ 123456warwick.ac.uk (N.B.); J.R.Tresilian@ 123456warwick.ac.uk (J.T.)
                [2 ]Department of Neonatology, University Hospital Bonn, 53113 Bonn, Germany; Peter.Bartmann@ 123456ukbonn.de
                [3 ]Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7HL, UK
                Author notes
                [* ]Correspondence: D.Wolke@ 123456warwick.ac.uk ; Tel.: +44-2476573217
                © 2020 by the authors.

                Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).


                Public health

                longitudinal studies, motor development, preterm birth, iq, adulthood, cognitive function


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