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Temperament and Behavior Problems in Toddlers Born Preterm and Very Low Birth Weight

  • Vivian Caroline Klein (a1), Luciana Cosentino Rocha (a1), Francisco Eulógio Martinez (a1), Samuel P. Putnam (a2) and Maria Beatriz Martins Linhares (a1)...


The purpose of the present study was to examine the temperament and behavior problems of 32 toddlers born preterm and very low birth weight and 25 toddlers born full-term without medical problems. Mothers completed the Early Childhood Behavior Questionnaire and the Child Behavior Checklist-1.5–5 for assessing toddler`s temperament and behavior problems, respectively. The results showed that, regarding temperament, toddlers born preterm exhibited higher scores on the temperament dimensions Motor Activation, Perceptual Sensitivity, and High Intensity Pleasure, and lower scores on the temperament dimension Cuddliness than toddlers born full-term. In regard to behavior problems, toddlers born preterm showed higher attention problems scores than the comparison group. These findings indicated that children born preterm presented developmental vulnerabilities in temperament dimensions related to behavior problems at toddlerhood. Early intervention programs for preventing psychological problems in at-risk children, especially those born preterm, could focus on children’s temperament dispositions.


Corresponding author

*Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Maria Beatriz Martins Linhares. Laboratório de Pesquisa em Prevenção de Problemas de Desenvolvimento e Comportamento da Criança. Av. Tenente Catão Roxo, 2650. Prédio da Saúde Mental (salas 52/53). Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeirão Preto–USP. Campus Monte Alegre–USP. Ribeirão Preto-São Paulo. (Brazil). Phone: +55-1636024610. Fax: +55-163602-4504. E-mail:


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This work was supported by the National Council of Science and Technology Development (CNPq); and by the State of São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP). The authors gratefully thank the Neonatology Service at the Hospital of Clinics of the School of Medicine of Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo, and the families for participating in this study.



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Temperament and Behavior Problems in Toddlers Born Preterm and Very Low Birth Weight

  • Vivian Caroline Klein (a1), Luciana Cosentino Rocha (a1), Francisco Eulógio Martinez (a1), Samuel P. Putnam (a2) and Maria Beatriz Martins Linhares (a1)...


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