Date of Award


Document Type


First Advisor

Celeste Jones, Psy.D.

Second Advisor

Glena Andrews, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Kathleen Gathercoal, Ph.D.


Infants born premature (<37 >weeks) and small for gestational age (SGA; <5 >lbs, 8ozs, >37 weeks) are at greater risk for neurodevelopmental delays. Delays can be global neurodevelopmental differences, including academic achievement, communication development, and motor skills. Currently, there is not a large enough body of research differentiating the two groups. Neurodevelopmental profile score differences were analyzed between children born premature, children born SGA, children born both premature and SGA, and children born average for gestational age (AGA). Neurodevelopmental domains explored included social, adaptive, communication (expressive and receptive), motor (gross and fine), and cognitive functioning using the Battelle Developmental Inventory (BDI-2 NU), Bayley Scales for Infant and Toddler Development (Bayley-III), and the Preschool Language Scale (PLS-5). Participants ranged in age from 2 months to 2 years 9 months and included European American, Latino, and Asian infants and toddlers.

An ANOVA was used to analyze differences between groups. Across the majority of the developmental areas measured, no significant differences were observed. The gross motor subdomain resulted in significant differences between the control group and the premature and SGA groups, though the effect sizes were small. Overall, results suggest that regardless of a child’s birth weight or term development, these factors do not indicate poor performance when compared to AGA children. Future research would benefit from a larger sample size, in addition to utilizing a longitudinal design to produce more generalizable results and provide greater insight into the most effective way to implement early intervention services.

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