The Influence of Early Biological Risk and the Home Environment on Nine-Year Outcome of Very Low Birth Weight

Barbara D. Schraeder, Mary Ann Heverly, Connie O'Brien


The contributions of early medical risk and the early and contemporary home environment on cognitive and academic outcomes of 35 nine-year-old survivors of very low birth weight (VLBW) who were followed prospectively were investigated. There were no significant relationships between the measures of early medical risk and outcome. The quality of the home environment accounted for half of the variance in outcome. Five themes that showed consistent associations over time with positive outcomes were: parental responsivity, parent support for learning, parent involvement with the child, exposure to a variety of experiences, and the presence of a father figure.

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