Behavioral disturbances among failure-to-thrive children

Am J Dis Child. 1976 Jan;130(1):24-9. doi: 10.1001/archpedi.1976.02120020026004.


The eating, sleeping, elimination, autoerotic and self-harming behavior of 19 preschool failure-to-thrive children was studied. Their behavior was compared to a group of 19 children growing normally for their chronological age. Information was obtained by repeated home visits by public health nurses. The growth-retarded children had more feeding difficulties as infants, had skimpier, less regular meals, and had poorer response to food when rated on a five-point scale. Their daily caloric intake was lower. There was no substantial differences between groups for sleeping, elimination, autoerotic, and self-harming behaviors when each area was separately analyzed. However, when all the disturbances were summed, there was clear evidence that the failure-to-thrive children had a noticeably greater number of abnormalities than the control group.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Child Behavior Disorders / complications*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Female
  • Food Preferences
  • Growth Disorders / complications*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Self Mutilation / complications
  • Self Stimulation
  • Sleep
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / complications