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Object engagement and manipulation in extremely preterm and full term infants at 6 months of age

Object engagement and manipulation in extremely preterm and full term infants at 6 months of age

Research in Developmental Disabilities 55: 173-184

Delays in the motor domain have been frequently observed in preterm children, especially those born at an extremely low gestational age (ELGA;<28 weeks GA). However, early motor exploration has received relatively little attention despite its relevance for object knowledge and its impact on cognitive and language development. The present study aimed at comparing early object exploration in 20 ELGA and 20 full-term (FT) infants at 6 months of age during a 5-minute mother-infant play interaction. Object engagement (visual vs manual), visual object engagement (no act vs reach), manual object engagement (passive vs active), and active object manipulation (mouthing, transferring, banging, turn/rotating, shaking, fingering) were analyzed. Moreover, the Griffiths Mental Development Scales 0-2 years (1996) were administered to the infants. Relative to FT peers, ELGA infants spent more time in visual engagement, and less time in manual engagement, active manipulation, mouthing, and turning/rotating. Moreover, they had lower scores on general psychomotor development, eye & hand coordination, and performance abilities. Close relationships emerged between manual object engagement and psychomotor development. Clinical implications of these results in terms of early evaluation of action schemes in ELGA infants and the provision of intervention programs for supporting these abilities are discussed.

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Accession: 058444797

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PMID: 27101093

DOI: 10.1016/j.ridd.2016.04.001

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