Intellectual, cognitive and academic outcomes of very low birth weight adolescents living in disadvantaged communities

Molteno, Gillian (2004-12)

Thesis (MEdPsych)--Stellenbosch University, 2004.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Since the introduction of neonatal intensive care, infants that are extremely premature and of very low birth weight (VLBW) are now surviving. There is concern as to whether many of them have developmental problems. A study of the relevant literature revealed that VLBW children tend to score lower than their peers on IQ tests, reading accuracy, reading comprehension, spelling and maths. Studies on developmental outcome in VLBW infants have all been conducted in developed countries. The situation in developing countries has therefore not been investigated. The purpose of this study was to investigate the intellectual, cognitive and academic outcomes of 18 English- and Afrikaans-speaking adolescents (between 12 and 14 years) who weighed less than 1250g at birth and were living in disadvantaged communities in Cape Town. Their performance was compared with controls matched for age, sex and socio-economic status. The relationships between intellectual ability, cognitive controls and academic achievement were also investigated. Intellectual ability was assessed by means of the Senior South African Intelligence Scales-Revised (SSAIS-R), and the Cognitive Control Battery (CCB) developed by Santostefano was used to assess cognitive functioning. The academic achievement tests included the Neale Analysis of Reading Ability (and the Afrikaans version, the Afrikaanse Prosaleestoets), the ICE Spelling test (and the Afrikaans version, the IPV Speltoets) and the SchonelI 5 Mathematics test. Results showed that no significant differences were found between the index and control groups on IQ scores, cognitive control measures or academic achievement. These findings suggest that the low socio-economic status of all the adolescents had a levelling effect on their performance. There were some positive correlations between intellectual ability, cognitive controls and academic achievement. It was recommended that a programme of Cognitive Control Therapy which was developed by Santostefano, be implemented by educators in classrooms to improve cognitive control functioning and academic performance.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Sedert die aanvang van intensiewe sorg vir pasgebore babas, het erg premature babas met 'n baie lae geboortegewig, begin oorleef. Kommer het egter ontstaan dat sulke kinders moontlik 'n toename in ontwikkelingsprobleme kan ondervind. 'n Studie van die relevante literatuur het bevestig dat kinders met 'n lae geboortegewig geneig is om laer tellings in IK toetse, lees akkuraatheidstoetse, leesbegripstoetse, spel en wiskunde toetse te kry, vergeleke met kinders van dieselfde ouderdomsgroep. Die opvolgstudies op babas met lae geboortgewig het in ontwikkelde lande plaasgevind. Die situasie in ontwikkelende lande is nog nie ondersoek nie. Die doel van hierdie studie was om die intellektuele, kognitiewe en akademiese vordering van 18 Engels- en Afrikaanssprekende lae geboortegewig adolessente (tussen 12 en 14 jaar) wat as 1250g by geboorte geweeg het en in minder bevoorregte gemeenskappe in Kaapstad gewoon het, te bestudeer. Deelnemers se resultate is met 'n kontrolegroep, gepas ten opsigte van ouderdom, geslag en sosio-ekonomiese status, vergelyk. Intellektuele vaardighede is deur middel van die Senior Suid-Afrikaanse Individuele Skaal - Hersien (SSAIS-R) gemeet, en die Cognitive Control Battery (CCB), wat deur Santostefano ontwikkel is, is gebruik om kognitiewe funksionering te bepaal. Die akademiese vaardigheidstoetse het uit die Neale Analysis of Reading Ability, die ICE Spelling Test (en die Afrikaanse weergawe, die IPV Speltoets) en die SchonelI 5 Mathematics test, bestaan. Die resultate van die studie het geen beduidende verskille tussen die studie en kontrolegroep met betrekking tot IK, kognitiewe kontrole of akademiese vordering getoon nie. Hierdie bevindinge het aangedui dat die lae sosioekonomiese vlakke van die adolessente in hierdie studie 'n gelykmakende effek op hulle prestasies gehad het. Daar was positiewe korrelasies tussen intellektuele vaardighede, kognitiewe kontroles en akademiese prestasie. Dit word voorgestel dat 'n Cognitive Control Therapy program, deur Santostefano ontwikkel, deur onderwysers in die klaskamer gebruik word om die kognitiewe kontrole funksionering en akademiese vordering van kinders te bevorder.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/49991
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