Effects of sensitive parenting on the academic resilience of very preterm and very low birth weight adolescents
Journal of Adolescent Health
Purpose Although sensitive and cognitively stimulating parenting is a powerful predictor of school success, it may not protect against increased neonatal risk resulting from underlying neurological damage. Methods A total of 314 very preterm/very low birth weight (VP/VLBW) and 338 term control children were studied from birth to age 13 years. Socioeconomic status was examined at birth. Neurological and physical impairment was assessed at age 20 months, and sensitive and cognitively stimulating parenting at age 6 years. School success was measured from 6 to 13 years of age. Results Very preterm/very low birth weight children had lower school success between 6 and 13 years, after statistically controlling for child disability and socioeconomic status. Cognitively stimulating parenting promoted all children's school success whereas highly sensitive parenting at age 6 years partly protected against the adverse effects of VP/VLBW birth on academic outcomes. Conclusions Very preterm/very low birth weight children's school success to age 13 years may be partly protected with sensitive parenting in middle childhood, despite the neurodevelopmental impairments associated with VP/VLBW birth. This suggests potential avenues for interventions for children born at high neonatal risk.
This study was supported by grants PKE24, JUG14, 01EP9504, and 01ER0801 from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Science (BMBF).
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from the publisher via the DOI in this record.
Vol. 53, pp. 642 - 647