Very preterm children at early school age: Studies into assessment, development and support

S. van Veen

Research output: PhD ThesisPhD-Thesis - Research and graduation internal


The aims of this thesis were to unravel unresolved issues in the follow-up of very preterm children, and to provide insight in very preterm children’s support needs and their cognitive, motor and educational development at early school age.
Two issues in follow-up described in the current thesis were correcting cognitive scores for prematurity and the effect of multilingualism on cognitive outcomes. Results showed that at the age of five years, there is still a significant difference between corrected and uncorrected IQ scores. Whether and up to what age to correct outcomes for prematurity should depend on the purpose and use of such outcomes. Results showed multilingualism to be negatively associated with cognitive outcomes in two- and five-year-old very preterm children. Exposing preterm children to two different languages at a young age might cause an overload of information, which might negatively affect their overall cognitive development.
At preschool age a large proportion (61%) of very preterm children received health care therapies and/or educational support. The high proportion of children receiving support reinforces the idea that we need to have robust data to value the benefits, but also the burden of interventions for children, parents and society. At five years of age, we found that preschool mathematical skills were compromised, which could be explained by their visual-perceptive deficits. At eight years of age our results showed a substantial difference between verbal IQ and performance IQ which underlines the necessity to interpret both components separately.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • van Kaam, Anton H. L. C., Supervisor
  • Oosterlaan, J., Supervisor
  • Leemhuis, Aleid G., Co-supervisor
  • Aarnoudse-Moens, Cornelieke S. H., Co-supervisor
Award date5 Jun 2019
Print ISBNs9789463612692
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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