alexa Influence of Gestational Age and Parental Education on Executive Functions of Children Born Very Preterm
ISSN: 2167-0897

Journal of Neonatal Biology
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Research Article

Influence of Gestational Age and Parental Education on Executive Functions of Children Born Very Preterm

Ritter Barbara Catherine1, Nelle Mathias2, Steinlin Maja1,3 and Everts Regula1,3*
1Division of Neuropaediatrics, Development and Rehabilitation, Children’s University Hospital, Inselspital, 3010 Bern, Switzerland
2Division of Neonatology, Children’s University Hospital, Inselspital, 3010 Bern, Switzerland
3Centre for Cognition, Learning and Memory, University of Bern, Switzerland
Corresponding Author : Regula Everts
Division of Neuropaediatrics, Development and Rehabilitation
Children’s University Hospital, Inselspital
3010 Bern, Switzerland
Tel: 0041 31 632 41 30
Fax: 0041 31 632 92 29
E-mail: [email protected]
Received June 11, 2013; Accepted July 11, 2013; Published July 15, 2013
Citation: Ritter BC, Nelle M, Steinlin M, Everts R (2013) Influence of Gestational Age and Parental Education on Executive Functions of Children Born Very Preterm. J Neonatal Biol 2:120. doi:10.4172/2167-0897.1000120
Copyright: © 2013 Ritter BC, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
 

Abstract

Background: Children born very preterm (<32 weeks’ gestational age; VPT) and/or very low birth weight (<1500 g; VLBW) are at high risk of deficits in executive functions, namely inhibition, working memory, and shifting. Both, gestational age and socioeconomic factors, such as parental education, are known to influence executive functions, with children born at lower gestational age and with lower educated parents displaying worse executive skills. This study aimed to investigate if maternal and paternal education moderated the relationship between gestational age and executive functions in VPT/VLBW children aged 8-12 years. It was hypothesised that the disadvantageous effect of low gestational age could be buffered more easily in families with higher educational background. Methods: Sixty VPT/VLBW children born in the cohort of 1998-2003 were recruited. All children completed executive function tasks (inhibition, working memory, and shifting). Results: There was a significant dose-response-relationship between gestational age and inhibition, with children being born at earlier gestational age showing worse inhibition. However, neither maternal nor paternal education moderated the relationship between gestational age and executive functions significantly. Conclusion: children than parental education. The disadvantageous effect of low gestational age was equal in children with higher and lower educated parents. However, the impact of gestational age and parental education on executive functions may *Corresponding author: Regula Everts, Division of Neuropaediatrics, Development and Rehabilitation, Children’s University Hospital, Inselspital, 3010 Bern, Switzerland; Tel. 0041 31 632 41 30; Fax. 0041 31 632 92 29; E-mail: [email protected] Received June 11, 2013; Accepted July 11, 2013; Published July 15, 2013 Citation: Ritter BC, Nelle M, Steinlin M, Everts R (2013) Influence of Gestational Age and Parental Education on Executive Functions of Children Born Very Preterm. J Neonatal Biol 2: 120. doi:10.4172/2167-0897.1000120 Copyright: © 2013 Ritter BC, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. differ depending on the socioeconomic spectrum of the study sample.

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