School performance for low-birthweight children: Behavior problems and school difficulty
The purpose of this study was to investigate the risks associated with low birth weight in the school setting and the incidence of low birth weight children having behavior problems that relate to school difficulty.
Parents of sixty-one second and third grade students volunteered during PTA meetings to complete demographic information as well The Behavioral Assessment Scale for Children (BASC). The child's teacher completed the teacher version of the BASC. Children were grouped according to birth weight.
A Pearson product-moment correlation revealed a significant relationship between birth weight and several scales on the BASC. As birth weight decreased, the scores on the BASC increased, indicating problems. MANOVA results indicated that sex was not a significant main effect regarding behavioral problems, however a significant main effect was found for birth weight. A Pearson product-moment correlation revealed a significant relationship between number of risk factors and several scales on the BASC. Finally, a Chi-Square analysis supported the hypothesis that low birth weight children would be receiving proportionately more Special Education services. Additional findings regarding handedness were also discussed.
The present findings supplement the growing body of knowledge that low birth weight children are at-risk for behavioral difficulties. Implications from this research support the development of prevention programs to educate parents about the specific risks of low birth weight and what they can do to help their children succeed in school.