Date Presented 04/21/2023
Behavioral difficulties in very preterm children may lead to lower academic achievement and school performance. The influence of parenting style on behavior will be an indicator for parental coaching in the early intervention program.
Primary Author and Speaker: Suja Angelin Chandrasekaran
Contributing Authors: Hima B John, Sanjeev M. Padankatti, Miraclyn B. Lydia D, Mahasampath Gowri S, Sridhar Santhanam
PURPOSE: Children born preterm, reportedly have more cognitive, behavioral, socio emotional, and school problems. Behavioral difficulties may lead to lower academic achievement and school performance. The influence of parenting styles on behavior will be an indicator for parental coaching in the early intervention program. The aim of this study is to find the association between parenting styles and behavioral difficulties at preschool age of children born very preterm.
DESIGN: A cross-sectional comparative study design was used. Systematic sampling technique was used to include the term children.
METHOD: Parents of 33 former preterm children (mean age 43.1 ± 4.3 months) discharged from the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) of a tertiary care hospital and 34 former term children (mean age 42.9 ± 3.6 months) were included in the study. The parents were administered Parenting Styles Dimension Questionnaire (PSDQ) and Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ).
RESULTS: In analysis adjusted for Socio Economic Status (SES), in the groups combined (n = 67), children of permissive parents were more likely to demonstrate abnormal behavior compared to children of parents with authoritative styles OR 37.4 (3.6 – 392.6). Permissive parenting was also associated with increased emotional problems OR 5.2 (1.2 – 22.3), increased hyperactivity OR 7.05 (1.6 – 31.6), and increased problems with pro-social behavior OR 6.5 (1.5 – 28.2) in the children. Children in the preterm group had increased behavioral problems (56.7% vs 23.3%), though this was not statistically significant.
CONCLUSION: Screening for behavioral problems in preterm children is important for early identification and intervention. Parenting style, especially permissive parenting was associated with behavioral problems in this cohort thus need for parental coaching early in the process. Preterm children might have more behavioral problems than term children.
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